Freedom of speech and expression in India.
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9 Oct, 2019 12:09 PM
The freedom of speech and expression is regarded as first condition of liberty. It occupies a preferred and important position in the hierarchy of the liberty, it is truly said about the freedom of speech that it is the mother of all the other liberties. In modern time it is widely accepted that the right to freedom of speech is the essence in the society and it must be safeguarded all the time. The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of words in a open forum. Liberty to express opinions and ideas without hindrance, and especially without fear of punishment plays significant role in the development of the particular society and ultimately for the state. It is one of the most important fundamental liberties guaranteed against state suppression or regulation.
The freedom of speech and expression is a very important fundamental right under the Constitution. It is indispensible for the development of one’s own individuality and for the success of parliamentary to democracy. It is said that in a democracy the right to free expression is not only the right of an individual but rather a right of the community to hear and be informed.
The freedom of speech and expression is not only guaranteed by the Constitution or statutes of various states but also by various international conventions like Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and fundamental freedoms, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights etc. These declarations expressly talks about freedom of speech and expression.
Origin of Freedom of Speech And Expression
The concept of freedom of speech originated long back. England’s Bill of Rights 1689 adopted freedom of speech as a constitutional right and still in effect. The French Revolution in 1789 adopted the Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen. This further affirmed the Freedom of Speech as an undeniable right. The Declaration of Freedom of Speech in Article 11 states:
“The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the right of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law”.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted in the year 1948 also states that everyone should have the freedom to express their ideas and opinions. The freedom of speech and expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 and has now formed a part of the international and regional human rights law. In International human rights the freedom of speech and expression is recognized in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that-
“Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference and everyone shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression ; the right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers either orally or the form of writing or print, in the form of art, or through any other media of their choice”.
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7 Oct, 2019 11:26 AM