In this case before Hon’ble Bombay High Court, it was held that the word impotent when used in pleadings is sufficient to hold that defamation to husband has been done.
The statement made in the pleading is “The petitioner wanted to avoid writing this in this petition but the conduct of the respondent compels her to write that the respondent is an impotent person and the child was born by medical ovulation period technique as was suggested by the gynecologist.“
From Para 24,
X Vs Y on 2 November, 2018
Reading the afore-stated allegation as it is and without adding anything to it or subtracting anything from it prima facie, one gets an impression that it is per se defamatory in character and has been, prima facie, calculated to cause harm or injury to the reputation of the non-applicant. It also gives an impression that apparently it has been made with consciousness about the repercussion that such a statement would have on the life of the non-applicant. Even if the expression “impotent person”, as the learned Counsel for the applicant would like this Court to do, is read in all its contextual setting, in particular, in the context of the birth of the child by adopting a medical procedure on the suggestion of the Gynecologist, still the apparent harm that the expression “impotent person” causes, is not diluted or washed out. This is for the reason that prima facie the word “impotent” when understood in it’s plain and grammatical sense, reflects adversely upon the manhood of a person and has a tendency to invite derisive opinions about such person from others and, therefore, use of such word and its publication as contemplated under Section 499 of IPC would be sufficient to constitute, in a prima facie manner, the offence of defamation punishable under Section 500 of IPC. Now, if the non-applicant submits that this word has been used by her in some different sense denoting medical condition of the non-applicant affecting the process of conception, it would be a matter of evidence to be proved accordingly. At this stage, the meaning apparently indicated by the word would have to be taken as it is. Then, such imputation has been made by filing a writ petition and, therefore, the other ingredient of publication is also fulfilled in the present case. Therefore, prima facie, the offence punishable under Section 500 of IPC is made out in this case.
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