Striking the Balance between Sedition Law and Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression
Volume III, Issue II, 2020
Freedom of speech is now seen as touch stone of democracy and the ability of individual to criticise the state is crucial to maintaining freedom. Free speech is one of the most significant principles of democracy. The purpose of this freedom is to allow an individual to attain self-fulfilment. The freedom of speech and expression is the first and the foremost human right as the foremost condition of liberty, mother of all liberties and to make the life meaningful. Six freedoms given in the article 19 of Indian constitution which are not absolute in nature. Absolute freedom cannot be given by a nation. If citizens are given absolute rights and liberties without any restrictions it will result in state of nature as described by John Locke. The UDHR 1948 and in its preamble and article 19 declared freedom of speech as a basic fundamental right. The freedom of speech often poses difficult question like the extent to which state can regulate individual conduct. Since individual’s autonomy is the function of this freedom, any restriction on it is subject to great scrutiny. Restrictions under article 19(2) of Indian constitution are similar to the article 19(3) of international covenant on civil and political rights.