ARTICLE 19

INTRODUCTION

Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees six fundamental freedoms. Part 3 of the constitution deals with Article 19. All six of the rights protected by article 19 relate with giving Indian citizens freedom, which can only be restricted by a state decree in an emergency or for the reasons listed in section 2 of this article.

The Right to Hold and Dispose Property was once included in clause 1 sub clause f of article 19 but was deleted and added to article 300A by the 44th amendment. As a result, this right is no longer a fundamental right and has instead become an ordinary right.

Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution provides six freedoms to the citizens. These six liberties are solely available to citizens, or to natural individuals who have the legal status of “citizenship.” It implies that in order to assert rights under Article 19 there must first be a determination of citizenship under Part II of the Constitution. These rights are not available to foreign nationals, juristic entities, registered companies, or organisations.

  • Freedom of speech and expression (Article 19(1)(a)),
  • Freedom of assembly (Article 19(1)(b)),
  • Freedom of association (Article 19(1)(c)),
  • Freedom of movement (Article 19(1)(d)),
  • Freedom to residence and settlement (Article 19(1)(e)), 
  • Freedom of profession, occupation, trade or business (Article 19(1)(g)).

Freedom Of Speech And Expression: 19(1)(a)

It is regarded as a fundamental and unalienable right that grants citizens freedom to express their opinions through words, gestures, pictures, works of art, newspapers, etc. It is the cornerstone of a democratic society and crucial to the rule of law and citizens’ freedom.

Citizens are granted this freedom in order to encourage their participation in civic activities. They form opinions and speak up during public events. It is a crucial component of a democracy because of this. A individual is free to use any medium of his choosing to communicate his opinions on any topic. Absolute freedom of speech is not a guarantee in any nation.

19(1)(a) along with restriction as mentioned in 19(2)

As stated in the introduction, article 19(1), subclause (a), deals with the freedom of speech and expression, while article 19(2) offers a fair constraint to this right, which are as follows:

  1. Interests of sovereignty and integrity of India. (Added by 16th Amendment, 1963)
  2. Security of the state;
  3. Friendly relations with foreign states; (Added by 1st Amendment, 1951)
  4. Public order; (Added by 1st Amendment, 1951)
  5. Decency or morality;
  6. Contempt of court;
  7. Defamation;
  8. Incitement to an offence;

Article 19(1)(a) also includes Right To Be Silent

Freedom of speech and expression are both covered under Article 19(1)(a), which also includes the right to silence. Here is a prominent case (the national anthem case) involving this right:

State of Kerala v. Bijoe Emmanuel (National Anthem Case) (1986) The Supreme Court ruled that, in this case, the three students’ refusal to sing the National Anthem did not constitute disrespect on their part. Additionally, whenever the National Anthem was played, they stood in reverence.

Freedom Of Press Under Freedom Of Speech And Expression

It states that there should be no statutory or administrative restrictions placed on the spread of information.

It is established law that press freedom is part of the right to freedom of speech and expression. The press has been referred to be the Fourth Estate because it is responsible for protecting the public interest by exposing the wrongdoings, shortcomings, and lapses of the government and other bodies properly exercising governing power.

The press cannot assert that it has superior rights because it has the same rights as everyone else. Press freedom is not just applicable to magazines and newspapers. Pamphlets, circulars, and every other type of information that serves as a conduit for knowledge and opinion are included.

Some important case laws relating to above are mentioned below:

Brij Bhushan and Anr. v. State of Delhi (1950)

In this decision, the Supreme Court emphasised that, in accordance with Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution, restricting press freedom is equivalent to restricting freedom of speech and expression unless doing so poses a threat to the state. This choice upholds the ideals of freedom of speech set forth in the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

State of Madras v. Romesh Thapper (1950)

The Court concluded that the freedom of speech and expression includes the right of idea propagation, which can only be ensured by circulation, in its decision regarding the legality of the assailed order that prohibited the admission and distribution of the weekly magazine into specified areas of Madras.

Union of India v. Sakal Papers, 1961

Press freedom, freedom of circulation, freedom of publication, and the right to the free expression of one’s thoughts and opinions are all protected rights under our democratic system. Therefore, the government shouldn’t pass any laws that clash with citizens’ fundamental rights.

Commercial advertisements fall within the umbrella of free speech?

In the 1960 case of Hamdard Dawakhana v. Union of India,

The Drug and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, which restricted drug advertising in some circumstances and forbade the promotion of medications with magical properties for curing ailments, was challenged on the grounds that it infringed upon freedom of speech. The Supreme Court ruled that while advertisements are undoubtedly a kind of communication, they must engage with commerce or trade rather than spreading ideas.

Tata Press v. MTNL (1995)

According to the Supreme Court, MTNL has no right to prevent Tata Press Ltd. from releasing the Tata Yellow Pages.

Right to information

No democratic government can function without providing citizens with information since it serves to advance democracy. It came into effect in 2002. Every government organisation has someone assigned to it who is responsible for giving citizens information for a very small fee. yet private information is kept private. This right refers to issues with noise pollution.

The main topic is the usage of loudspeakers in mosques, gurdwaras, and other places. The Calcutta High Court ruled that exercising one’s right to free speech did not entail upsetting neighbourhood residents.

Moulana Mufti Syed Md.Noorur Rehman Barkati v/s State of W.B

It was maintained that while the azan is a fundamental component of Islam, the usage of loudspeakers is not.

Right To Assemble Peacefully Without Arms 19(1) (b)

The gathering must not be aggressive or disturb the quiet of the community. If the gathering is riotous or disorderly, it is not protected by Article 19 (1) (b), and under Article 19 clause (3), reasonable restrictions may be applied in the sake of public order or India’s sovereignty and integrity.

People enjoy the freedom to hold public gatherings and participate in processions thanks to assembly freedom. People have the right to meet one another under Article 19(1)(b). The people’s assembly must be both a) peaceful and b) arm-free in order to exercise this right. The State may also impose reasonable limits in the interests of a) public order and b) India’s sovereignty and integrity. Additionally, under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a magistrate may impose restrictions on the right of individuals to assemble if he believes there is a threat to public order or peace.

19(1)(b) along with restriction as mentioned in 19(3)

As is well known, article 19(1)(b) deals with the FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY, while article 19(3) establishes appropriate limitations on it, including the following.

Reasons for Justifiable Restrictions

Public peace and preservation of India’s integrity and sovereignty.

The 19(1)(b) Assembly shall be a peaceable and non-armed Assembly. The IPC’s Section 141 outlines what constitutes an unlawful assembly.

Amit Sahni v. Commissioner of Police Oct. 2020 SC

According to the Supreme Court of India, dissenting public rallies and demonstrations are only permitted in specific locations. The appeal by attorney Amit Sahni, asking for the removal of a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens held in the Delhi neighbourhood of Shaheen Bagh, was accepted by the court. The protest, according to the appellant, blocked a public pathway and seriously inconvenienced commuters. The Court agreed with this argument and determined that, notwithstanding the presence of the right to peacefully oppose legislation, public routes and public spaces cannot be occupied permanently. It was decided that reasonable constraints related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, and the regulation by the relevant police authorities apply to the rights to freedom of expression and protest under Article 19 of the Constitution

Freedom To Form Associations 19(1)(c)

The ability to organise an association includes the freedom to establish political parties, trade unions, corporations, societies, and partnerships. The freedom to organise implies the freedom to organise or not, to join or not join, a union or association. The right of the people to organise into associations or unions is granted by Article 19(1)(c). The right to participate in an association as well as to carry on the association as such is provided by Article 19(1)(c). Free association also refers to the freedom to start or stop an organisation or union, as well as to join or not join one. The State may impose reasonable limitations on the freedom of association or union in the interests of a) public order, b) morality, and c) India’s sovereignty and integrity.

Grounds for Reasonable restriction:

  1. Interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India
  2. Public order
  3. Morality

The ability to form associations and cooperative societies is guaranteed by Section 19(1)(c).

The freedom to organise an association also includes the right to refuse to join one.

The 97th amendment introduced the section about cooperative societies together with PART IX-B of the constitution, which discusses cooperative societies.

UOI v. Damyanti, 1971

The Supreme Court ruled that the ability to form a group necessarily “implies that the individual forming the group has the right to continue to be affiliated with only those whom they willingly admit in the group.” Any law that violates the right to create an association is one that introduces members into the voluntary association without giving the members the option to keep them out or that expels members who have willingly joined it.

Right To Move Freely In Territory Of India 19(1) (D) & Right To Settle In Territory Of India19 (1)(E)

Every citizen of India has the right to unrestricted movement throughout the nation’s territory under Article 19(1)(d) of the Constitution. Only state activity, not private individual action, is prohibited under this right. Additionally, it is only accessible to firm shareholders and nationals, not to foreigners or other legal entities like corporations or companies, etc. While suitable restrictions may be imposed on that right in the interest of: the general public; or b) to protect the interests of any Scheduled Tribe, Article 19(1)(d) protects freedom of movement within the territory of India. For instance, limits on movement and travel may be put in place to keep an eye on epidemics, safeguard the environment or wildlife, or maintain tribal cultures like that of the Jarawas in the Andaman. A District Magistrate or Police Commissioner may also impose limits to keep someone out of a particular region (Tadipar) for a brief period of time, up to three months.

Every Indian citizen has the right “to stay and settle in any portion of the territory of India,” as stated in Article 19(1)(e). However, in accordance with Article 19’s clause (5), this right may be subject to legal restrictions that are reasonable and necessary for the preservation of any Scheduled Tribe’s interests or the general welfare.

interests or the general welfare.

Art. 19(1)(e)] enables anyone to dwell (in temporary residency) and establish themselves anywhere in the Indian Territory. Movement freedom and the freedom to live and dwell anywhere are complementary to one another. They want to break down barriers within India. They uphold the dignity and unity of India as a nation. The State may legitimately impose reasonable limitations on the right to prevent exploitation and coercion for the interest of: the general public; or the security of the scheduled tribes.

The ability to travel, live, or settle in north-eastern Indian states, such as Uttarakhand, has been constrained for the same reasons as those mentioned above.

19(1)(d&e) along with restriction as mentioned in 19(5)

Article 19(1)(d) deals with the right to move freely within Indian territory, and article 19(1)(e) deals with the right to settle within Indian territory. 19(5) establishes the following acceptable limitations to it:

Reasonable restriction justifications:

  1. Interests of the public at large
  2. For the benefit of any scheduled tribe’s interests

Freedom To Own Property: Article 300a

Article 31 (Right to Property) was deleted from the Constitution by the 44th Amendment (1988-19(1)(f), and Article 300A (Right to Property) was added.

According to Article 300A, no one may be stripped of their property without a court order. No one’s property may be taken from them without a court order.

Following this, it is stated that the right to property is a constitutional but not a fundamental right.

In U.P. Avas Evam Vikas Parishad v. Friends Co-op. Housing Society Ltd., the Supreme Court ruled that the right to shelter and the right to build houses for that purpose were both guaranteed by Articles 19(1)(e) and Article 21 of the Constitution, subject to the construction regulations.

Freedom Of Trade And Profession 19(1) (g)

This fundamental freedom is protected by the Constitution under Art. 19(1)(g) in order to promote the prosperity and welfare of the entire society. The State makes sure that no person residing within the nation’s borders is denied this right, and if he is, it will take the necessary steps to provide him with a suitable remedy and ensure that justice is done. Each citizen should exercise this freedom to the fullest extent possible in order to advance both their moral and material well-being.

This fundamental freedom is protected by the Constitution under Art. 19(1)(g) in order to promote the prosperity and welfare of the entire society. The State makes sure that no person residing within the nation’s borders is denied this right, and if he is, it will take the necessary steps to provide him with a suitable remedy and ensure that justice is done. Each citizen should exercise this freedom to the fullest extent possible in order to advance both their moral and material well-being.

A person is free to select the source of his or her choice of livelihood under [Article 19(1)(g)]. The right includes the ability to reject an endeavour or shut down a business. Other clauses, such as pension payments and wage payment for work, are included in the second right. The right to pursue a career is essential to a man’s existence, and the state does not specifically restrict this right unless it is for the good of the public at large. Of course, it is wrong to run a risky or unethical business.

19(1)(g) along with restriction as mentioned in 19(6)

As is well known, article 19(1)(g) addresses the freedom of trade and profession, while article 19(6) establishes appropriate constraints on it, including the following:

Reasonable restriction justifications:

In the best interests of the public at large.

State-mandated requirements must be met in order to practise any profession or technical occupation.

A state-run enterprise that entirely or partially precludes the participation of its customers or other parties.

Union of India v. Excel Wear (1979)

It was decided that the freedom of businessmen to shut down their operations—and in particular, the members’ right to voluntarily wind up their memberships—must be safeguarded. By declaring the contested provisions unconstitutional in the Excel Wear case, the Supreme Court has successfully prevented the businessmen from being forced to ask the government for permission to shut down their operations, which the government could have easily denied arbitrarily and without any justification.

Does Article 19(1)(g) apply to education?

State of AP v. Unni Krishnan (1993)

According to the Supreme Court, when read in connection with the directive principle on education, the fundamental right to life (Article 21) implies the right to a minimum level of education (Article 41). The Court ruled that the scope of the right must be understood in light of the Directive Principles of State Policy, including Article 45, which mandates that the state must make every effort to provide free and compulsory education for all children under the age of 14 within ten years of the Constitution’s enactment. The Court determined that Article 21 does not establish a basic right to education leading to a professional degree.

State lotteries are only gambling and not trade or enterprise.

State of U.P. v. B.R. Enterprises (1999)

In BR Enterprises v. State of UP, the Supreme Court of India determined that a lottery is a game of chance and not a business or commerce, but rather bears the characteristics of res extra commercium. In interpreting Section 5 of the Lotteries Act 1998, the Supreme Court also found that a state may not bar other states from participating in its own lottery.

CONCLUSION

One of India’s Constitution’s most significant Fundamental Rights is the right to freedom. There cannot be a democratic system without freedom. If people do not have the freedom to do anything, they cannot develop and flourish. Giving someone complete independence, however, could be quite risky. It is crucial to impose limitations on freedom in order to prevent abuse of rights and promote peaceful coexistence. Thus, the State serves as a mechanism for restricting people’s freedom. The liberties and justifications for their limitations are both described in our constitution in very beautiful detail. This power balance is essential. As a result, one of the most significant provisions in our Constitution that assures the wellbeing of our nation’s residents is Article 19. It gives individuals the ability to make views and decisions and to act as they like. However, by imposing reasonable limitations, it also makes sure that no one’s right is violated or harms society while they are practising theirs.

REFERENCES

Books

The Constitution of India

Constitutional Law Of India-  Dr. J.N. Pandey

Introduction to the Constitution Of India- Durga Das Basu

Constitution Of India- V.N. Shukla

Internet Sources

http://www.indiankanoon.org

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.

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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.

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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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