499. Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or published any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation or such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.
Explanation 1.-It may amount to defamation to impute any thing to a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives.
Explanation 2.-It may amount to defamation to make an imputation concerning a company or an association or collection of persons as such.
Explanation 3.-An imputation in the form of an alternative or expressed ironically, may amount to defamation.
Explanation 4.-No imputation is said to harm a person's reputation, unless that imputation directly or indirectly, in the estimation of others, lowers the moral or intellectual character of his caste or of his calling, or lowers the credit of that person, or causes it to be believe that body of that person is in a loathsome state, or in a state generally considered as disgraceful.
(a) A say's – “Z is an honest man; he never stole B's watch”; intending to cause it to be believed that Z did steal B's watch. This is defamation, unless it fall within one of the exceptions.
(b) A is asked who stole B's watch. A points to Z, intending to cause it to be believed that Z stole B's watch. This is defamation, unless it fall within one of the exceptions.
(c) A draws a picture of Z running away with B's watch, intending it to be believed that Z stole B's watch. This is defamation, unless it fall within one of the exceptions.