Freedom Of Speech In India
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-20
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution ensures to all its citizens the liberty of expression. Freedom of the press has been included as part of freedom of speech and expression under the Article 19 of the UDHR. The heart of the Article 19 says: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

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In India, our constitution has guaranteed ‘Freedom of expression and speech’ under Article 19(1) (a) subject to certain restrictions. The current scenario is that "there are criminal laws in a provision that put little restraint on this right to maintain public order and individual/ national privacy." These laws are imposed by the constitution under Article 19(2) but only on print media or electronic media. Interestingly, social Media is presently out of any regulatory scope of any such related laws/provisions.

How free are we Indians to express ourselves?

Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution makes the “right to freedom of speech and expression” a fundamental right. But it is not an absolute right; there are qualifiers.

What are those qualifiers?

The First Amendment to the Constitution, made on June 18, 1951, states that “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign s tates, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence” will be paramount and freedom of expression will not be unconditional.

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution ensures to all its citizens the liberty of expression. Freedom of the press has been included as part of freedom of speech and expression under the Article 19 of the UDHR. The heart of the Article 19 says: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

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Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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