ROMESH THAPPAR V. THE STATE OF MADRAS

  Facts of The Case:- 

The petitioner Mr. Thappar used to be a prevalent communist of his time and used to be very sceptical of the insurance policies of the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, mainly his overseas policy.

  • He published a few articles in his weekly English journal known as Crossroads that expressed his scepticism in this regard.
  • As he used to be writing these articles, a communist motion used to be gathering steam in parts of Madras and the authorities felt that the petitioner’s articles will no longer be beneficial with regard to stopping the enthusiasm amongst the contributors of the stated communist movement.
  • In the month of March 1950, the Government of Madras with the aid of virtue of an order imposed a ban on the entry and circulation of the journal in these areas.
  • The order was once issued pursuant to Section 9(1-A) of the Madras Maintenance of Public Order Act, 1949 which empowered the authorities to restrict the circulation, sale or distribution of the journal in sure parts of the province of Madras for the motive of making sure ‘public safety’ or preserving ‘public order.’

Aggrieved by this authorities order Mr. Thappar approached the Supreme Court with the rivalry that the impugned order infringed upon his integral proper to free speech and expression.

Judgement Of The Court In Brief:

  • The Court, while ruling on the validity of the impugned order that banned the entry and circulation of the weekly magazine into certain parts of Madras, held that the freedom of speech and expression includes freedom of propagation of ideas that can only be ensured by circulation.
  • The Court ruled that it was clear that the impugned order passed was in violation of Article 19(1) (a) unless Section 9(1-A) of the impugned Act is saved by the reservation provided for in Article 19(2).
  • The Court in order to ascertain the validity of Section 9(1-A) delved deep into the origins of the impugned Act, which lay in the Government of India Act of 1935 and the Constituent Assembly debates.
  • The Court finally invoked the Doctrine of Severability whereby it is seen whether severing or removing a provision from legislation changes the legislative intent behind the enactment and if not, the impugned provision may be declared invalid.
  • After applying the rule of severability to Section 9(1-A) of the impugned Act, the majority held it to be void under Article 13(1) of the Constitution and thus ultra vires as it was inconsistent with the provisions of Part III of the Constitution.

Justice Fazal Ali however in his dissenting opinion held that maintenance of peace and tranquillity was an integral part of maintaining state security, thus contending that the impugned Act imposed reasonable restriction on the freedom of Speech and Expression.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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