X wrote a letter to Y in a sealed envelope, containing defamatory matter concerning Y. A servant of Y opens his master’s letter and reads the contents. Y sues X for defamation.

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  • X wrote a letter to Y in a sealed envelope, containing defamatory matter concerning Y. A servant of Y opens his master’s letter and reads the contents. Y sues X for defamation.
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Answer:

X is not liable for defamation.

 

The reasons are:

 

  1. Defamation is the publication of statement, which tends to lower a person in the estimation of right thinking members of society.

 

  1. Publication means conveying the defamatory statement to any person other than the person concerned.

 

  1. Here, since the defamatory statement is conveyed to the person defamed directly, there is no publication. He has also taken steps to prevent others from seeing it by sending it in a closed envelope.

 

  1. The servant opening and seeing the contents is not the defendant’s fault and hence not binding on him. So, X is not liable for defamation.
Last Updated On January 30, 2018
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