Delhi High Court

Petitioner moved the Delhi HC in a case that deals with an intersection of POSH and Defamation law

In X v. STATE OF DELHI (CRL.M.C. 4346/2022 &CRL.M.A. 17790/2022), the Delhi High Court on 06.09.2022 allowed the application and directed the State (Respondent No. 1) to file status report and issued notice to the Respondent No. 2 (Applicant who filed the defamation case in Trial Court). The present matter is sub-judice before the Delhi High Court (as on 21st July 2023).


  • A complaint was filed by the petitioner against Respondent No. 2 for commission of offence of sexual harassment at workplace.
  • The charges were later proved, and Respondent No. 2 was found guilty under Section 2 (n) and Section 3 (2) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 by the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Committee i.e. the Internal Committee.
  • The Respondent No. 2 filed a defamation case against the Petitioner under Section 499 of IPC.

Section 499. Defamation. – Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person. 

  • The Trial Court summoned the Petitioner.

Contention of the Petitioner:

  • Since the charges levelled against the accused for sexual harassment were already proved, the Petitioner could not have been summoned for the offense punishable under Section 499 of IPC.
  • The learned Trial court has committed a grave error by summoning the Petitioner.

Court’s Order

  • The Delhi High Court allowed the application subject to all just exceptions.
  • The Court directed the State to file Status Report.
  • The Court Issued Notice to Respondent No. 2

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