Mumbai, November 12: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court ruled that using the word 'impotent' for a man amounts to defamation as it adversely reflects his manhood. The single-judge bench comprising justice Sunil Shukre made the landmark ruling while dismissing a woman's plea for discharge from the criminal proceedings for defamation initiated against her on husband’s complaint.

Justice Sunil Shukre said the use of word 'impotent' invites derisive opinions about him from others and adversely reflects upon the person's manhood. "Therefore, its usage and publication as contemplated under Section 499 (damage to reputation) would be sufficient to constitute the offence of defamation under Section 500 (punishment for defamation) of IPC," he held.

The woman had filed a divorce case in a family court, which granted her husband their only daughter's interim custody. Challenging this order in the high court, the woman had raised aspersions on husband’s potency and capacity to engage into a physical relationship. Irked by the allegations, the husband lodged a complaint against wife and in-laws for defamation.

Following the man's complaint, the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) initiated a probe. Last year, the JMFC ordered to register crime against wife under Sections 500 and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC. Challenging this defamation case in the high court, the woman argued that she was compelled to talk about her husband's impotency because their child was born by medical ovulation period technique as suggested by the gynaecologist.

The high court, however, rejected her plea and held that the husband was right in filing the defamation case. “Reading her allegations without adding/subtracting anything from it, one gets an impression that it’s defamatory in character and has been, prima facie, calculated to cause harm or injury to husband’s reputation," justice Shukre said, as reported by TOI.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 12, 2018 12:47 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website