LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Constitution of India understands that the press’s power lies with it’s authenticity which needs to be protected and with some rights and freedoms.
  • Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Press is crucial for a democratic setup
  • Jawahar Lal Nehru, quoted “I would rather have a completely free press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed and regulated press.”
  • The live broadcast of parliament proceedings now is a must
  • The press needs to advertise whether it’s on radio, news channel, phone app etc as its their one of the mainstream source of income.
  • Constitution lays downs a few fundamental barriers to the press under the headings of security of state, public order decency, contempt of court, defamation, etc

INTRODUCTION

The word "NEWS," which is a combination of North, East, West, and South, was coined in the sense to symbolize that the press covers all four of mankind's recognized directions. Today, the press and media act as a bridge between the average individual and the rest of the world, keeping us up to date on current affairs, pressing problems, and geopolitical events. The purpose of news, which is to inform and empower the informed, has not changed from the time of independence when the press relied on the printing of newspapers to the present, when it is transmitted through apps and digital newspapers.

The Constitution of India understands that the press’s power lies with it’s authenticity which needs to be protected and with some rights and freedoms, therefore it acknowledges it under “Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.”

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

During independence our Founding Fathers and Mothers, craved for the freedom to express themselves. While witnessing the nationalist press, which was often subjected to the repressive measures during British rule, the freedom fighters aspired to the notion that people in the new India, which was more like our India, wouldn't have to experience this. They knew that the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Press is crucial for a democratic setup because the core meaning of democracy can only be justified when the citizens are thoroughly provided with authentic and impartial information.

There fore while drafting the constitution they walked on the thinking of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India who quoted “I would rather have a completely free press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed and regulated press.”

The Indian Constitution certifies this freedom in Article 19(1)(a) which guarantees right to freedom of speech and expression. It is an implied or deduced that the right to freedom of speech also includes the press freedom which is under Part III (fundamental rights). Questions were raised on how freedom of press can be induced under freedom of speech to which Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar replied “The press is just another method of quoting an individual citizen and when anyone chooses to write in a newspaper, they are merely exercising their right of expression and thus, there is absolutely no need to separately mentions the freedom of the press.”

INGREDIENTS OF FREEDOM OF PRESS UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(a).

Freedom to conduct interview

It’s a crucial right to bring out the exact knowledge from the experts or the related subjects in the press headlines. By providing with this right the authenticity of the press increases by tenfold. However every right has it’s limitation, which in term of this is:

  1. Consent of the interviewee, is required
  2. The interview can be stopped by the interviewee at any instance
  3. The interviewee can’t be forced against their will, to answer any question,

Freedom to spread information

Without this ability the existence of the press is total vain. In a landmark judgement of “Romesh Thapar v State of Madras( 1950 AIR 124)” it’s mentioned the mainstream difference between freedom of speech and freedom of press, is a person can’t communicate his expression to the masses under freedom of speech, whereas under freedom of press this advantage is there the expressions can be broadcasted to the masses via print media, electronic media, etc.

Freedom to criticize

The press similar to the citizens of India has the right to critic the government on it’s policies, actions, laws, etc. However it should be made sure that the press doesn’t use undue advantage of this right and gaslight public against the government which in turn will bring out riots, rebels etc.

Freedom to act as an advertising platform

The press needs to advertise whether it’s on radio, news channel, phone app etc as its their one of the mainstream source of income. Tata Press v. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam ( 1995 AIR 2438)is the landmark case where the Supreme Court has incorporated the right to advertisement under the freedom of expression.

Freedom to report court proceedings

“Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd v SEBI ,” it was held by the Supreme Court that it’s the right of the media to report the court proceedings to the public.

Freedom to receive the information

The right to freedom of the press, once more. Lack of information prevents the press from educating the public and renders the right to free speech meaningless since there is no access to the information that may serve as the foundation for any expression. That’s when this right comes to picture.

Freedom to attend and report legislative proceedings

The presses entitled with the right to publish a report of the parliament meetings, in accordance with Article 361 of the Constitution . However, the only restriction placed on this right is that it shouldn't arise from any malice. The live broadcast of parliament proceedings now is a must

Freedom to broadcast

Power to broadcast is crucial in today's technological age because it is one of the main avenues for information dissemination. This freedom extends to online content like websites, blogs, and mobile applications as well as broadcasting on radio and television news programmes.

CONCLUSION

The rights given for the freedom of the press was a must because without it, the media wouldn’t have been able to work this efficiently as it does. However, if we flip the coin and see the other side of it, the press has indeed recently seen exploiting these rights given to it, therefore the Constitution also lays downs a few fundamental barriers under the headings of security of state, public order decency, contempt of court, defamation, etc to keep the press at bay and have a balance between it’s right and people’s.

Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE


"Loved reading this piece by Anusha Sharma?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"






Tags :


Category Others, Other Articles by - Anusha Sharma 



Comments


update
Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query