Friday, 18 February 2022

Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution

 Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution

Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution says that All citizens shall have the right

 a) to freedom of speech and expression; 

b) to assemble peaceably and without arms; 

c) to form associations or unions;

 d) to move freely throughout the territory of India; 

e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;

 f) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business

 Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India states that, all citizens shall have the right to freedom of The philosophy behind this Article lies in the Preamble of the Constitution, where a solemn resolve is made to secure to all its citizen, liberty of thought and expression. The Right of freedom of Speech and Expression implies that every citizen has the rights to express his views, opinions, belief, and convictions freely by mouth, writing, printing or through any other methods. The exercise of this right is, however, subject to reasonable restrictions for certain purposes being imposed under Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India.

 The Grounds on Which This Freedom Could Be Restricted 

Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian constitution imposes certain restrictions on free speech under following heads:

 1. security of the State,

 2. friendly relations with foreign States 

3. public order,

 4. decency and morality, 

5. contempt of court,

 6. defamation,

 7. incitement to an offence, and 

8. sovereignty and integrity of India.

 Object of Freedom of speech and expression 

Freedom of speech not only allows people to communicate their feelings, ideas, and opinions to others, rather it serves a broader purpose as well. These purposes can be classified into four:

 1. It help individuals in self- realization. 

2. Is help in discovery of truth.

 3. It help in the decision-making process; 

4. It provides a mechanism by which it would be possible to establish a reasonable balance between stability and social change

In Bijoe Emmanuel v. State of Kerala, this case is also known as national anthem and freedom of silence case. In this present case three children were expelled from the school for not singing the national anthem although they respectfully stood when the others were singing the national anthem. they approach the H.C. of Kerala against the said order, but H.C. upheld the expulsion valid by imposing the fundamental duty. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the students did not commit any offence under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. Also, held that freedom of speech and expression also include the right to silence itself.

In People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India case, public interest litigation (PIL) 11 was filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution by PUCL, against the frequent cases of telephone tapping. The validity of Section 5(2) of The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 was challenged. It was observed that “occurrence of public emergency” and “in the interest of public safety” is the sine qua non7 for the application of the provisions of Section 5(2). If any of these two conditions are not present, the government has no right to exercise its power under the said section. So, Telephone tapping, therefore, violates Article 19(1) (a) unless it comes within the grounds of reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2).

In Indian Express Newspapers v. Union of India the Court, observed that, Article 19 of the Indian Constitution does not use the phrase “freedom of press” in its language,but it is contained within Article 19(1) (a). There cannot be any interference with the freedom of press in the name of public interest.It is, therefore, the primary duty of courts to uphold the freedom of press and invalidate all laws or administrative actions which interfere with it contrary to the constitutional mandate.Similarly, imposition of pre-censorship of a journal,or prohibiting a newspaper from publishing its own views about any burning issue19 is a restriction on the liberty of the press.

In Bennet Coleman and Co. v. Union of India the validity of the Newsprint Control order was challenged. The Order fixed the maximum number of pages which a newspaper could publish, and this was said to be violative of Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. The government raised the contention that fixing the newsprint would help in the growth of small newspapers as well as prevent monopoly in the trade. It also justified its order of reduction of page level on the ground that big dailies devote a very high percentage of space to advertisements, and therefore, the cut in pages will not affect them. The Court held the newsprint policy to be an unreasonable restriction, and observed that the policy abridged the petitioner’s right of freedom of speech and expression. Hence, any restriction on the number of pages or fixation of page level of a newspaper invalid and violative of Article 19(1) (a).

Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution



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