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Calling a Man 'Impotent' Amounts to Defamation and is Punishable Offence: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court said the word ‘impotent’ reflects adversely upon the manhood of a person.

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Updated:November 11, 2018, 7:46 PM IST
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Calling a Man 'Impotent' Amounts to Defamation and is Punishable Offence: Bombay High Court
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New Delhi: In a landmark ruling, the Bombay high court (HC) said that referring to someone as an “impotent person” reflects badly on his manhood and prima facie amounts to defamation and is punishable under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

The ruling was made in a matrimonial dispute wherein the wife had approached the Bombay HC, claiming her estranged husband is an impotent person and their child was born by medical ovulation period technique.

Taking offence to her claim, the husband filed a private complaint in Nagpur seeking prosecution of his wife and some of her relatives for defamation. Although the woman claimed she had used the term ‘impotent’ to describe her husband’s medical condition due to which he was incapable of engaging in a physical relationship, the court dismissed her plea for discharge from the criminal proceedings.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, Justice SB Shukre said the word ‘impotent’ reflects adversely upon the manhood of a person and has the tendency to invite derisive opinions about the person. The use of the word is sufficient to constitute the offence of defamation and is punishable under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, the HC said.
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