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Is communication made in good faith an offence?

Communication means to convey something to others or share something with another person. Communication is always a two process. So, if a person shares any information with another person then it may be of no value to him or is beneficial or can cause harm. It depends upon the nature of the information, intention of the communicator and various other factors. 

But what if communication causes harm to a person. Should a person be given protection from criminal prosecution? 

For instance – a doctor told his patient that he is having cancer and should take care of himself. But the person committed suicide because of the shock. In such case, would the doctor be charged for abetment to suicide? 

No, because the doctor had no ill will against the patient. He communicated the information in a good faith. Is it a question of common sense or law really recognize it? 

Section 93 of Indian Penal Code

Section 93 of Indian Penal Code deals with communication made in good faith. It states that no communication made in good faith is an offence provided that communication made should be for the benefit of that person. So it can be concluded that a person can wear a cloak of immunity in two conditions – 

  • Communication made in good faith 
  • Communication made for the benefit of the person

Case law 

X v. Hospital Z 

Everyone has the right to privacy guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India but if the communication has been made in good faith then it isn’t a violation of the aforementioned article. Fact of the case – the petitioner Mr ‘X’ went to hospital ‘Z’ where it was found that he is suffering from AIDS (HIV+) and this fact was disclosed to her bride which resulted in cancellation of their marriage. 

But hospital ‘Z’ and the doctors were protected under section 93 of Indian Penal Code and the Supreme Court held that doctors disclosed the matter for the benefit of the bride because AIDS is a dreadful disease.