Legal Explanation of Article 19

Detailed Legal Explanation of Article 19 with Case laws – New Dimension of Article 19

Important Case laws with legal explanation

(8) SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING VS CRICKET ASSOCIATION OF BENGAL,1995

Government has no Monopoly on electronics media.

(9) TATA PRESS LTD. VS. MAHANAGAR TELEPHONE NIGAM LTD(MTNL),1995

Commercial advertisement is a part of freedom of speech and expression.

(10)BOBBY ART INTERNATIONAL VS OM PAL SINGH HOON

(Bandit Queen case, Phoolan Devi , a lady who took revenge of her rape,1996. Exhibition of Film- The Court said that from every nude seen, lust is not arisen.

(11) UNION OF INDIA VS ASSOCIATION FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS,2002

Supreme Court held that Right to vote is a fundamental right, so voters have right to know about their candidate. So, candidates are bound to submit affidavit regarding their education, income and crime cases etc.

(12) MD AJMAL MD AMIR KASAB STATE OF MAHARASHTRA

(Taj Hotel Attack Case, 2008,, DOJ,2012- Live show of terrorist attack- Supreme Court criticized this trend and said that an action tending to violate another person’s right to life or putting the national security in jeopardy can never be justified by taking the plea of freedom of press.

CONDITIONS for RESTRICTIONS 19(2): –

There are three conditions to apply Article 19(2)-

First- By law– The restrictions can be imposed only by or under the authority of law.

No restriction can be imposed by executive action alone without their being a law to back up it.

Second – Restriction must be related only to eight grounds mentioned in Article 19(2).

Third- Restrictions must be reasonable.

Restrictions:

There are two types of restrictions-

(1) Original Restrictions-4

Security of State,

Defamation,

 Decency or Morality

Contempt of Court

(2)Added-

Friendly relations with foreign states,(1951),

Public Order, (1951),

Incitement of an offence (1951),

sovereignty and integrity of the nation (1963).

MEANING OF THE TERMS

SECURITY OF STATE-

Security of State means direct challenge of sovereignty, namely violence intended to overthrow the government, waging war, external aggression of war etc. Serious and aggravated form of public disorder are within the expression ‘ security of State.

 In RomeshThapper ,DoJ 25-05-1951 Supreme Court said that the expression security of State does not refer to ordinary breaches of public order which do not involve any danger to the State itself.

PUBLIC ORDER-

It was added by 1st Amendment after Romesh Thapper case. Public order is synonymous with public peace, safety and tranquility.  For example, rioting, affray etc.

Superintendent, Central Prison vs. Ram Manohar Lohia, 1960. In this case SC invalidated section 3 of U. P. Special Powers Act, 1932 which punished a person, even if he invited a single person not to pay or defer the payment of Government dues because there was no Nexus between speech and public order. The court said that FR cannot be curtailed on hypothetical grounds that this speech would be grounds for revolution.

Third- Friendly relations with foreign states

Added by 1st Amendment- According to Article 51, State shall endeavour to promote international peace and security and maintain just and honourable relations with other country. So to maintain good relationship with other nations it became necessary to control freedom of speech otherwise some people of nation may start hate speech against another state. Sometimes dignitary of other country comes into our country, to maintain their dignity, this ground is used.

FOURTH- Contempt of Court

Supreme Court (Article 129), High Courts (Article 215), The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. E. M.S NAMBOODRIPAD VS T.N. NAMBIAR, The SC said that freedom of speech shall always prevail except where Contempt of Court is manifested, mischievous or substantial. Sections 228 and 499 of IPC are also related to Contempt of Court.

FIFTH- Sovereignty and integrity of India-

Added by 16th Amendment. By this Amendment, schedule third was also amended, so now oath is also taken to uphold sovereignty and integrity of India.

SIXTH- Incitement of an offence

In several case, Incitement of an offence are also punishable when they affect public peace. But in some cases Incitement of an offence do not affect public peace for example bribery forgery and cheating.

SEVEN- Defamation

Defamation is crime (section 499) and torts (Libel-actionable per se and in permanent form, & slander- is not actionable per se except in exceptional circumstances and in transitional for.)

EIGHT- Decency and morality

IPC section 292 to 294 and Indian Contract Act, Section 23-. It varies according to time, place society and relationships with persons.

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