Freedom of Press – Article 19(1)(a) … In Romesh Thaper vs State of Madras and Brij Bhushan vs State of Delhi
The Supreme Court took it for granted the fact that the freedom of the press was an essential part of the right to freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of press is not specifically mentioned in article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution and what is mentioned there is only freedom of speech and expression. In the Constituent Assembly Debates it was made clear by Dr. Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee, that no special mention of the freedom of press was necessary at all as the press and an an individual or a citizen were the same as far as their right of expression was concerned.
Freedom of Press –
To preserve the democratic way of life it is essential that people should have the freedom of express their feelings and to make their views known to the people at large. The press, a powerful medium of mass communication, should be free to play its role in building a strong viable society. Denial of freedom of the press to citizens would necessarily undermine the power to influence public opinion and be counter to democracy.
The framers of the Indian constitution considered freedom of the press as an essential part of the freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed in Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
Public Interest has to be safeguard by article 19(1)(2) which lays down reasonable limitations to the freedom of expression in matters affecting:
a. Sovereignty and integrity of the State
b. Security of the State
c. Friendly relations with foreign countries
d. Public order
e. Decency and morality
f. Contempt of court
h. Incitement to an offence