Can i insult someone through my whatsapp status?


Section 66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 prohibits the sending of offensive messages though a communication device (i.e. through an online medium).

The types of information this covers are offensive messages of a menacing character, or a message that the sender knows to be false but is sent for the purpose of Ôcausing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will.Õ

If youÕre booked under Section 66A, you could face up to 3 years of imprisonment along with a fine.

Social media arrests are not new, and nor are they a uniquel ..

In India, the message would be treated as an “electronic record” and admissible in courts as a conventional document would be, as per Section 65(B) of Indian Evidence Act provided.

Section 65 (B) of Indian Evidence Act

It states that irrespective of the sections in the act, any electronic act which can be printed on a paper, stored, recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer shall be deemed to be a document.

When a person is defamed in the cyberspace, it is known as cyber defamation or online defamation. Such potentially defamatory statement which made online or through social media — such as via Facebook or LinkedIn — that involves the written (or “posted”) word, is considered libel.

The internet and social media are undoubtedly a great thing for people and society in general for development and growth, but they are also a uniquely effective breeding ground for potentially libelous statements.

Reference: Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 and Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Case law:
1) Suprthi Rao Supriti Podili vs The State Of Telangana on 13 March, 2019

2) Bhagyalakhshmi Sudarshan … vs The State Of Maharashtra And Anr on 24 May, 2021

3) N.Viswam vs Mrs.Chandrika Balaji on 25 February, 2021



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