Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Freedom Of Speech and Expression-Press Freedom

The Constitution guarantees the following six  fundamental Freedoms:
(i) Freedom of speech and expression.
(ii) Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms.
(iii) Freedom to form associations or unions.
(iv) Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India
(v) Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
(vi) Freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

(I) Freedom of Speech And Expression

It is an important freedom. This freedom ensures free and frank speech, discussion and exchange of opinions. It includes the freedom of the press. 
However these freedom like freedom of speech and expression are not absolute. The state is empowered to impose reasonable restrictions .These freedoms can be suspended during the state of National Emergency declared under article 352. 
Under our constitution, there is no such thing as " freedom of Press".. The press cannot claim any additional rights than what is justly available to an average citizen. In India "the freedom of Press" is implicit  in the "freedom of speech and expression. But under the American Constitution the freedom of press is explicitly recognized.
Article(1)(a) provides that "all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression. 
No right in any judicial system is absolute. Even a fundamental tight can be subject to "reasonable restriction". The courts have concluded that the word 'restriction can include even' deprivation' or total prohibition'.
The freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article19(1)(a) included the freedom to acquire knowledge and to read books of his choice as the freedom of speech and expression is meaningless without a right to freedom to acquire knowledge.

However Article 19(2) imposes reasonable restriction on the exercise of right, in the interest of
Security of the state, Friendly relation with foreign state, to prevent contempt of court,Defamation or incitement to an offence