Defamation Ordinance, 2002



1 Short title, extent and commencement  
2 Definitions  
3 Defamation  
4 Defamation actionable  
5 Defences  
6 Absolute privilege  
7 Qualified privilege  
8 Notice of action  
9 Remedies  
10 Code of Civil Procedure and Qanun-e-Shahadat Order to apply  
11 Ordinance not to prejudice action for criminal defamation  
12 Limitation of actions: -An action against  
13 Trial of cases  
14 Court to decide the cases expeditiously  
15 Appeal  
16 Power to make rules  


Defamation Ordinance, 2002


AN ORDINANCE to make provisions in respect of defamation


     Whereas it is expedient to make provisions in respect of defamation and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto;

              And whereas, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action;

              Now, therefore, in pursuance of the Proclamation of Emergency of the fourteenth day of October, 1999, and the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999, read with the Provisional Constitution (Amendment) Order No. 9 of 1999, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-


              1.       Short title, extent and commencement:- (1)  This Ordinance may be called the Defamation Ordinance, 2002.

              2.         It extends to the whole Pakistan.

              3.        It shall come into force at once.


                 2.       Definitions. – In this Ordinance, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-

                (a)        “Author” means the originator of the statement;

                (b)        “Broadcasting” means the dissemination of writing, signs, signals, pictures and sounds of all kind, including any electronic deice, intended to be received by the public either directly or through the medium of relay stations, by means of,

(i)     A form of wireless radio-electric communication utilizing     Hertzian waves, including radiotelegraph and radiotelephone, or

(ii)    Cables, computer, wires, fiber-optic linkages or laser beams, and “broadcast” has a corresponding meaning;

                  (c)        “Editor” means a person a person or operator having editorial or equivalent responsibility for the content of the statement or the decision to publish or circulate it;

                  (d)         “Newspaper” means a paper containing public news, intelligence or occurrences or remarks or observations or containing only, or principally, advertisements, printed for distribution  to the public and published periodically, or in parts or numbers, and includes such other periodical works as the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare to be newspaper;

                   (e)        “Publication” means the communication of the words to at least one person other than the person defamed and includes a newspaper or broadcast through the internet or other media; and

                   (f)         “Publisher” means a commercial publisher, that is, a person whose business is issuing material to the pubic, or a section of the public, who issues material containing the statement in the course of that business.


                3.  Defamation. – (1) Any wrongful act or publication or circulation of a false statement or representation made orally or in written or visual form which injures the reputation of a person, tends to lower him in the estimation contempt or hatred shall be actionable as defamation.

               (2)     Defamation is of two forms, namely: –

               (i)      Slander; and

               (ii)     Libel

              (3)     Any false oral statement or representation that amounts to defamation shall be actionable as slander.

              (4)      Any false written, documentary or visual statement or representation made either by ordinary form or expression or by electronic or other modern means or devices that amounts to defamation shall be actionable as libel.


                4.       Defamation actionable: -The publication of defamatory matter is an actionable wrong without proof of special damage to the person defamed and where defamation is proved, damage shall be presumed.


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