Protection of certain rights regarding Freedom of Speech- Article 19

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Freedom Of Speech Freedom Of Speech


19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc
(1) All citizens shall have the right
(a)to freedom of speech and expression;
(b)to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c)to form associations or unions;
(d)to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e)to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and
(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business

(2)Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause ( 1 ) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence

(3)Nothing in sub clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause

(4)Nothing in sub clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order or morality, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause

(5)Nothing in sub clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe

(6)Nothing in sub clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause, and, in particular, nothing in the said sub clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to, or prevent the State from making any law relating to,
(i) the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or (ii) the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise .

FREEDOMS NOT ABSOLUTE – SUBJECT TO REASONABLE RESTRICTIONS
Reasonable restriction means intelligent care and discussion that the restriction is not beyond what is required for public interest. It should not be arbitrary and excessive. Further, the restriction can only be imposed by law and not by executive or departmental decision.

Test of reasonable restrictions -Spanning several cases, SC has laid down the following guidelines :

1.It is the courts and not the legislature that will decide whether a law is reasonable or not.
2.Reasonable means that the law is not arbitrary and the restriction is not beyond what is required in public interest. The time and duration of the restriction cannot be unlimited.
3.There is no fixed standard for reasonableness. Each case must be decided on its own merits.
4.The restriction must be reasonable from substantiative as well as procedural stand point.
5.Restrictions imposed due to implementation of Directive Principles may deemed to be reasonable.
6.The test of reasonability must be objective in the sense that it does not matter what a Judge or Court thinks what is reasonable but what a normal reasonable person would think.
7.The restriction must have a relation to the object that is sought through the law and must not be excessive.
8.It is the reasonableness of the restriction that a count has to determine and not the reasonableness of the law itself.
9.Restriction may amount to prohibition.