Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression— a Fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution and can not be taken away by any law.
The main elements of this right are:
- The freedom to express oneself freely.
- The freedom to worship freely.
- The freedom to propagate one’s religion.
However, the right is not absolute, and certain restrictions are placed on it in the interests of public order and morality.
Overall, the right to freedom of speech and religion is an important right which allows individuals to express themselves and their beliefs freely.
Freedom of speech and expression
Article 19 of the Indian Constitution of 1950 guarantees certain fundamental rights to citizens of India, including
- Equality before the law,
- Freedom of speech and expression,
- Freedom to assemble peacefully without the involvement of arms,
- Freedom for associations or unions association
- Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India,
- Subject to laws passed by Parliament to make laws relating to all such matters necessary for India’s peace, order and good government.
- Right to carry or practice any occupation, profession or trade.
Reason to protect freedom of speech and expression
Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to freedom of speech and expression.
The right includes freedom of assembly and association, meaning you can peaceably gather with others for a common cause. Finally, this right also encompasses the freedom to practice any religion you choose.
Article 19 of the Indian Constitution enshrines the right to freedom of expression, including the right to protest, a fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens.
The right to protest allows people to voice their grievances and demand change.
It is essential for democracy and ensuring everyone’s voices are heard. While the right to protest is not absolute, it is an integral part of our constitutional rights and should be protected.
- Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right that allows individuals to express themselves freely.
- This right is essential for the functioning of democracy and the protection of human rights.
- It also promotes creativity and provides for the exchange of ideas and information.
- Freedom of speech and expression also allows for critical thinking and open dialogue.
- It is an essential tool for social change and progress.
- Additionally, it can hold those in power accountable.
- Lastly, a fundamental human right should get protected at all costs.
Main elements of the right to freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of speech and expression comprises the right to information, freedom of the press, and freedom to express and self-realise. Two big democracies of the world, i.e. America and India, have remarkably protected this right.
The essential elements of this right are:
- The right to hold opinions without interference
- The right to seek, impart and receive information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers
- The right to freedom of peaceful assembly
- It is available to the citizens of India only, not to non-Indians.
- The right is not absolute; the government can frame rules accordingly to benefit public safety and order.
Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras
The petitioner (a printer, publisher and editor of a journal in English known as Cross Roads) and published in Mumbai.
Under Section 9 (1-A) of the Madras Maintenance of Public Order Act, 1949, the entry and circulation of the journal were prohibited within the Madras.
Responding to the ban, the petitioner filed a judicial writ petition before the Supreme Court, stating that the powers underneath the Act were an excessive restriction on freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
In response, it had been thought about on the respondent’s State behalf that the restriction was for the aim of public safety and public order.
It might be equated with State security, which considers a reasonable restriction on freedom of expression under Article 19(2).
The petitioner filed a judicial writ petition before the Supreme Court, averring that the powers underneath the Act were an excessive restriction on freedom of speech and expression underneath Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
The main problem before the Supreme Court was whether or not the State would build such restrictions.
J. Patanjali Sastri held that the safety of the State could be an affordable restriction under Article 19 (2) of the Constitution. However, the words in the impugned section of the Act are ‘public safety and public order.
The Court thought-about that the two terms ought to be read along. In Romesh Thappar and Brij Bhushan, the Supreme Court additionally held that the impugned legislations imposed a regime of “prior restraint” – i.e., by permitting the government to ban the circulation of newspapers in anticipation of public disorder; they clogged off speech before it even had the chance to be created.
Following a long-established tradition in common law, likewise to American constitutional jurisprudence, the Court held that legislation imposing previous restraint bore a heavy burden to demonstrate its constitutionality.
The decisions in Romesh Thappar and Brij Bhushan led to the passage of the first amendment, which substituted the phrase “undermines the security of, or tends to overthrow, the State” with “public order” and added a further restriction in the interests of preventing incitement to an offence, and – significantly – added the word “reasonable” before “restrictions”.
Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens of India. Despite this, several instances of this right violation have been witnessed. It includes the arrest of students for protesting, the banning of books, and the censoring of films. Freedom of speech also comprises of right to information, freedom of the press etc. So, freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right which cannot be taken away from the citizens.
What does Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution deal with?
It is a fundamental right that guarantees freedom of speech and expression, and the Supreme Court is the custodian of these rights.
Which right comes under article 19 of the Indian Constitution?
The right to move freely throughout India's territory comes under article 19 of the Indian Constitution, which comes under the right to freedom.
Can a foreigner complain under article 19 of the Indian Constitution?
Since the rights given under article 19 of the Indian Constitution are only available to an Indian citizen. A person cannot complain of infringement of right if he gets terminated by a law made by Parliament or he is not a citizen of India.
How many Fundamental freedom does article 19 of the Indian Constitution include?
Article 19 include five fundamental freedom: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly, freedom to form the association, freedom of movement and residence and lastly, freedom of profession.