The Constitution of India guarantees certain freedoms to the citizens of India which are known as fundamental rights. Some of the fundamental rights are available to the citizens as well as foreigners but some are only available to the citizens of India. Part III of the Constitution of India from articles 12 to 35 deals with the concept of fundamental rights. The freedoms provided are not absolute in nature and they can be restricted. This is because unlimited freedom can create chaos or difficulties in the society. And may the freedom of one individual can bar the freedom of another or they may commit or practice any illegal actions or work which can become a big problem for the State. So freedoms are restricted by the State as a precaution to stop the above mentioned problems. This paper will discuss about various restrictions placed by the State on fundamental rights.
RESTRICTIONS PLACED BY THE STATE:
As previously mentioned, the State placed various restrictions on the fundamental rights. Here comes the concept of reasonable restrictions. Along with various freedoms, article 19 also provides some restrictions to that freedom. Article 19 (1) lays down six freedoms namely freedom of speech and expression, freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms, freedom to form associations or unions, freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India, freedom to reside and settle within the territory of India, freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any trade, business, or occupation. Certain grounds have been mentioned under article 19 (2) to article 19 (6) to limit or restrict these freedoms. But the restrictions laid down by any statute should be reasonable. Supreme Court has laid down various tests with respect to the concept of reasonableness with the help of various cases. According to article 19 (2) the restrictions can be laid down with respect to freedom of speech and expression for the following factors:
- In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India
- In the interest of security of the state
- Friendly relations with foreign states
- Public order
- Decency or morality or in relation to contempt of the court
- Defamation or incitement to an offence
Article 19 (3) imposes restrictions for article 19 1(b) in the interest of:
- Sovereignty or integrity of India
- Public order.
Article 19 (4) provides restrictions for article 19 1(c) in the interest of :
- Sovereignty and integrity of the country
- Public order or morality.
Article 19 (5) imposes restrictions on article 19 1 (d), 19 1 (e) in the interest of :
- General public
- For the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe.
Article 19 (6) imposes restrictions on article 19 1 (g). In the case of State of Madras vs V.G Row the Court had held that the test of reasonableness, wherever prescribed, should be applied to each individual statute impugned, and no abstract standard or general pattern, of reasonableness can be laid down as applicable to all cases. In case of N.B Khare vs State of Delhi, it has been decided that while deciding whether the restrictions are reasonable, the court has to look into whether the conditions under which the restriction imposed is reasonable along with the nature and extent of the restriction imposed.
Fundamental rights are the basic rights which every human need to have and these rights are guaranteed by the Constitution of India to the citizens. Out of these fundamental rights some are available to the foreigners also. These rights can be restricted by the Parliament. These rights are restricted because providing unlimited freedom to the citizens may create problems in the society and may disturb the order of the society. If freedoms are not restricted then individuals will prioritise their interests. So the freedoms have to be restricted. And there should be a balance between the freedom guaranteed and the restriction, which can be seen by the reasonableness of the restrictions. These restrictions have been laid down by the Constitution and the courts through different cases measure the reasonableness of a restrictions and lays down the principles to test the reasonableness of a restriction.
- Udai Raj Rai, Fundamental Rights and their Enforcement, 2011
- Arijit Tarafdar, Article 19, Constitution of India- The rights and their Restrictions, Northeast law journal, June 2, 2021.
- Arun K Thiruvengadam, The Constitution Of India, A contextual Analysis, 2017.
- Nirali, Freedom of Business, Trade, and Profession, Legal services India.
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