If a person is found guilty of having committed defamation according to Section 499 of the IPC, the punishment is stipulated in Section 500: simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or fine, or both. The CrPC, which lays down the procedural aspects of the law, states that the offence is non-cognisable and bailable. Those who are accused of the offence would generally not be taken into custody without a warrant, and as such, an aggrieved person would not be able to simply file a police complaint but would, in most cases, have to file a complaint before a magistrate.
As far as defamation under tort law is concerned, as a general rule, the focus is on libel (i.e. written defamation) and not on slander (i.e. spoken defamation). In order to establish that a statement is libellous, it must be proved that it is (i) false, (ii) written; (iii) defamatory, and (iv) published, [according to Ratanlal and Dhirajlal, The Law of Torts, 26th Edition; page 279].
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