Defending defamation cases in real estate market

That there are lot of sufferers in real estate market today is a known thing. Buyers are increasingly expressive these days and vent out their anger in open. While it helps the general public get a hold of the feedback of buyers of a particular builder/project, the open unsubstantiated claims by buyers may sometime invite unwanted defamation suits by the builder. 3 years back, 3C builder had put a defamation case of 5 crore against buyers of its project. Lately, Sunworld had put a 3crore defamation case against its buyers and so did Nirala with a 10 crore defamation against some buyers. This brings us to the question whether being vocal against the builder on social forums through written or verbal claims is really a risky business for the buyers. No, it is not unless the following is taken care of by the buyers before making over the bar statement:

  • A statement is considered a case of defamation if it in contradiction with the Truth. So, if the statement was accurate, then by definition it wasn’t defamatory. Make sure you have ample supporting reasons to make a statement.
  • Or the statement made shall be a personal view qualified with a disclaimer that the same is based on the specific experience and may not necessarily apply in all circumstances.
  • It also helps if you already have a running case against builder in consumer/civil court. It would help substantiate your claim that builder’s defamation suit is intended as a revenge to the filed case.

Finally, if none of the above applies, you should be open to retracting from your defamatory statement. You would also need to submit a written apology to absolve yourselves.

Being expressive and helping out other co-buyers is no crime. Just weigh your statements before you press on Submit or before you exercise your vocal chords. In most of the cases though, you are likely to have sufficient reasons and proofs to make a statement and hence there is no need to worry.

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Last updated: August 28, 2016 at 19:47 pm

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