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P.G Diploma in Media Laws
B. Phanindra Kumar MLH20_07
NALSAR Proximate Education,
NALSAR University Of Law, Hyderabad.
Contents Topic Table Of Cases Table Of Statutes Introduction Research Methodology Freedom Of Speech- A Fundamental Right Press Legislation which curbed freedom of speech and expression during pre-independence period Need for Freedom Of press in India Precensorship Unethical Journalism in the name of public interest Reasonable restrictions Critical analysis of reasonable restrictions Role Of the Electronic Media Commercial Freedom: Freedom to advertise Conclusion Page Number 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 16 20 21 22
Of India The State of Karnataka v/s Puttaraja Hyde Part Residence v/s Yelland Ramesh v/s Union Of India LIC of India v/s Supreme Court Page Number 9 9 9 10 13 13 17 19 20 20 21 Hamdard Dawakahan v/s Union Of India Tata Press Ltd. 21 Table of Statutes 3 . v/s Mahanagar Telephone Ltd.[Type text] Table Of Cases Case Indian Express v/s Union Of India MSM Sharma v/s Sri Krishna Sinha Brij Bhushan v/s State Of Delhi Virendra v/s State of Punjab Kishori Mohan v/s State of Punjab Omprakash v/s Emperor Benette & Coleman v/s Govt.
Sedition 4 .C 1860 5. Punjab Safety Act. Press and Registration Of Books Act 1867 6. Official Secrets Act 8.Sec. Press Act 1857 4. India Press (Emergency) Act 1931 3.C 11.P.P. Lord Welleysley’s Act 1799 2.7 10. Vernacular Press Act 1878 7. I. Sec.[Type text] 1 1. 292 to 294 of I. Defence Of India Act 9. Contempt Of Court 1975 12.Defamation IPC 499 A 13.
it cannot cross certain limits. which mentions about the restriction of freedom of expression for certain reasons which includes Sediton. Though the Indian Press shares the fundamental right. Defamation.19 1 (a) and the reasonable restrictions which are mentioned in clause 2. Keeping the same in view. Defence Of India and so on. also tells us about the morals and ethics of any press before exposing sensitive data to the public in the name of public interest. Indian constitution which guaranteed the right to freedom of speech never mentioned about the ‘freedom of Press’. we can understand that the Government does’ nt not sanction any special status of freedom to the press in India. Official Secrets.[Type text] INTRODUCTION: The main aim of the current project “Freedom of Speech” is to give a complete picture about the ‘Right to Freedom Of Speech and Expression’ guaranteed to every Indian citizen under Art. This project acts as an index to anyone wanting to know the Freedom of Speech in India and its linkage with the media. 5 . This project besides telling the importance of freedom of speech. sub clause 2 has been added to Art. Contempt Of Court. When the fundamental rights were cancelled ruing emergency. 19 1 a. So. the press was forced to undergo pre-censorship.
It also helped me in discovering several things like freedom of advertising is also a freedmo of expression.[Type text] Research Methodology: The reason behind selecting this subject is basically because of my interest in the fundamental rights. media can goto any extent to get the TRPS and incase if there are no restrictions then media would also become a threat to the society. 6 . However. 19 (1) (a) and the reasonable restrictions mentioned in the 19(2). thereby giving citing several case laws and their relation with the current topic. Freedom of Speech in relation to media is very essential. This project aimsat giving a basic information to any reader to know about the freedom of the press and expression as mentioned in the Art. Especially in a country like India. The methodology adopted by me gives a clear idea about freedom of expression and its relation with the Press. There are methodologies adopted by me. sometimes if exclusive freedom is given to the media many unknown and unexpected disturbance may occur. First one being a fundamental research methodology which aims to give basic information about freedom of expression and second one an applied research methdology has been adopted.
K Advani expressing his views on emergency. autonomy and self fulfillment of the individual. unlike another justifiable rights are protected by way of an application direct to the Supreme Court under Art. 356. These rights. All citizens were forced to under go family planning operation. which itself is included in Part three. Art.A Fundamental Right Freedom to express one’s thoughts and freedom to speak is a basic human right without which anyone’s life will be meaningless. This provision of UDHR allows the individuals to seek. Such a situation had not been witnessed even during the British rule” 1 Under emergency powers ( mentioned in Art 352.360) these fundamental rights can be suspended during emergency period. Such a situation has happened when Late Smt. Suspension of Fundamental Rights and Press During Emergency "The period between 1975 and 1977 was the most difficult phase for journalists. 1 Military came into L. Art. Keeping the same in view Indian Constitution included freedom of speech as a basic fundamental right in Article 19 (1) (a) It is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of all human rights. to The Times Of India on 2nd November 2002 7 . Freedom of information indirectly holds the government accountable to the society.[Type text] Freedom Of Speech.32. Where it is suppressed other human rights violations follow. Indira Gandhi. The full enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression is central to achieving individual freedoms and developing democracy. the then prime minister of India declared financial emergency. Freedom Of Speech and expression is also one among those fundamental rights as mentioned in the Part Three. receive and impart any idea or information regardless of frontiers Provisions For Freedom Of Speech as mentioned in the Indian Constitution: Indian Constitution guarantees certain fundamental rights to any citizen of India. Freedom Of Speech is one right which is not only implies to the citizens of India but also to the Press as there is no separate right or provision made in the name of ‘freedom of press’. It makes electoral democracy meaningful and builds public trust in administration. Freedom of expression has been variously described as crucial for the freedom to develop and discuss ideas in the search for truth and understanding (sometimes evoked as the ‘marketplace of ideas’). All their fundamental rights were taken back through constitutional amendment. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights considers freedom of expression as a cornerstone right one that is essential for other rights to be protected and exercised. and effective participation in the political life of a democratic society.
Press Legislation which curbed freedom of speech and expression during pre-independence period Lord Wellesley in 1799 brought in a legislation which made pre-inspection of all newspapers mandatory and prescribed deportation for violation.[Type text] the rule and many questioned how far it is fair to balance economic justice and social liberty. “None of the major English or Indian language dailies was suppressed."2 However it has been observed that Vernacular press. Emergency showed Indian media the condition of freedom of the press in the country was and how limited the right to information was. Several news papers did not accept and agree for the same. The Government withdrew the advertising support from these news papers for non cooperation. which is considered India's first war of independence. two cartoonists and six photographers) were discredited. says the author in his book ‘regional press in India. Newspapers like ‘the Indian Express’ and ‘The Stateman’ marked their names in the History of Indian Journalism by oppising the Government’s precensorship."3 During this period the government introduced legislation at will. struggled a lot and the magnitude was cleary visble. The day after emergency was declared. It showed how elected governments could turn into dictatorships and how even the law did not give the press shelter. After the Sepoy Mutiny. none was substantial and only five were in English. The Financial Express edited by Narsimham published Rabindrnath Tagore’s poem on freedom. The Protection from Publication Act 1976 put control on the publication of parliamentary proceedings. As many as 253 journalists were detained and 51 journalists (43 correspondents. and gave the government the power to 2 3 Quoted by Robin Jeffrey in India's Newspaper Revolution. Press was asked not to publish any information without submitting their stories for a pre-censorship. “Of the 19 publications that remained banned for the entire Emergency. 1857 which imposed "rigorous control on the possession of printing material. The proprietor of Punjab Kesari.’ 8 . a Hindi daily. was detained. Prevention of Publication of Objectional Matter Act was introduced. In 1976. only the Indian Express chain persistently struggled with the government. the British introduced the Press Act. in 1857.
the promotion of enmity between groups and outraging feelings. 15 newspapers were closed down because they were unable to make deposit after forfeiture. From 1910 to 1913.S. which has three elements like • • • 4 freedom to access al sources of information7 freedom to publish freedom to circulate8 Rajeev Dhavan’s story published in only the good news A statement said by Louis Brandeis in Whitney v/s Clifornia. 1950 SCR 594. 607 5 6 7 8 9 . It was amended to include "offences against obscenity.. India being world’s largest democratic country should be given adequate freedom of speech. AIR 1959 SC 395." Fortunately. book." In 1867. defamation. "The vernacular press was forced to make deposits and was subjected to arbitrary powers of licensing and search and seizure. the Official Secrets Act. 247 US 214 Ind." 4 Meanwhile. Press is called as the fourth estate of any democratic country. These laws did not remain on paper. Executive and Judiciary.[Type text] prohibit the publication and circulation of any particular newspaper. In Indian Express v/s Union Of India6. for instance. This Act was called as Vernacular Press Act. It is the duty of the Legislature to uphold the Freedom of the Press.M Sharma v/s Sri Krishna Sinha. the Press and Registration of Books Act was introduced and in 1878. "an Act for the better control of publications in Oriental languages" was passed. In 1860. Need for Freedom Of press in India “ Freedom of Speech is bulwark of democratc government”5 After Legislature. the Act lasted for just one year. the Indian Penal Code introduced the offence of criminal defamation. sedition. it has been declared that the Press plays a major role in a democratic state. or other printed paper or any newspaper of any particular description. the mother of all legislation against the right to information. took shape in 1889 and was amended in 1904 and 1923. 402 Ramesh Thappar v/s State Of Madras. Exp v/s Union Of India (1985) 1 SCC 641 M.
The Act gives the "power to the government to take possession of licensed telegraphs and to order interception of messages. including photographs and cartoons”. v/s Union of India." Pre. For example. AIR 1958 SC 578. on the ground that it was a restriction on the liberty of the press. before the publication. Most of the laws relating to the media are archaic and made by the colonial rulers with the purpose of muzzling dissent. For example. on the occurrence of any public emergency or in the interest of public safety. For instance. prohibiting newspapers which publishes its own views or that of correspondent’s about a particular topic has been said to be a serious encroachment on the freedom of speech and expression. in this cyber age. til lthe further ordersall communal mattersand news and views about Pakistan.. In the same way. Unethical Journalism in the name of public interest and freedom of speech 9 10 Brij Bhushan v/s Statw Of Delhi. In Benette and Coleman Co.Censorship There are cases where precensorship was imposed on the Press not just during emergency times but also during other times.[Type text] In India unfortunately Press could not express its views to the fullest. Virendra v/s State of Punjab and Express Newspapers v/s Union Of India10 can be cited as best examples for the same. in duplicate. 1949.. AIR 1950 SC 129 AIR 1957 SC 896. which directed the editor and publisher of a newspaper ‘to submit for a scrutiny. 617 10 . maximum number of pages were cut down by the Court as the company violated the provision of Article 19 (1) (a) These ancient acts and laws are not just of academic importance in the context of Indian media in the 21st century _ they still loom large. In Brij Bhushan v/s State Of Delhi9. the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 is alive and kicking. The Organizer of the Press was questioned regarding the validity of censorship and the Court truck down the Section 7 of the Punjab safety Act.
Earlier. considering the Canada Supreme Court’s decision11. clearly shows that this theory has already hit India. He should never motivate public and corrupt their minds through sensationalism and scooping. Journalism is a noble and ethical profession and When a Journalists’s aim deviates towards money. Media.[Type text] Journalism today is really losing its essence. which is so unfortunate. Liberterian theory. Soviet Union theory and Social responsibilty theory. whether print or electronic can follow any of these theories but if they create a new theory ‘money making theory’ then the results will be very adverse. those following such cheap methods to make money were looked down as yellow Journalists but now the scenari has been changing. With more and more people steeping into media studies. Most popular term ‘sting operation’ is what people today relate Journalism with. No doubt. many people will equally enjoy watching obscene over the television if broadcasted and will that be justiciable enough to show such content in the name of public interest. Every other page you see lavishing use of photographs. corrupt yound minds and sell their news through sensationalism. There were also instances where the media went to broadcasting the MMS clips of some scandals which is nothing but a defamation. There are four theories of Press like Authoritarian theory. the Indian Government should come out with new set of laws which gives exclusive powers to the Police. misleading headlines and sensationalism. the news gets manipulated. It is nothing but just crossing the morals and ethics of Journalism in the name of ‘Investigative Journalism’. This new theory knows no laws. Sting operation Infact. whose only aim will be TRP ratings. from carrying out operations like ‘operation duryodhana’12. all they want is to make public fools. today’s media especially electronic media has been crossing its limits. Also. CBCID so that they can carry out undercover operations and can avoid media.P s while taking bribe 11 . CBI. A scrol ad of a vernacular media which says ‘watch MMS scandal at 8 pm exclusive on your channel’. In the name of public interest. most of the people will stick to their television screens when you telecast a sting but that cannot be a reason to continue such hopeless stuff. Sting operation is not Journalism. The word ‘sting operation’ is a deragatory statement to the investigative journalism itself and any true Journalist who believes in balance and fairness will never opt for short cut methods that make him popular over night. Reasonable Restrictions: 11 12 John Campbell Salvatore Sirose v/s The Queen A sting operation carried out by Cobra post and aajtak which captured 11 M. A journalist’s role is to bring out the news and tell the public about what is happening besides he should make people feel that they should take responsibility in making the society a better one. Infact. electronic media with its third eye (video lens) started capturing anything and everything without a bit of hesitation. parents and teacher’s of these aspiring Journalists are looking at the profession as another best way to become rich .
such as. which is the prime element and that’s the reason why they have 1) Security of State: Under Article 19(2) reasonable restrictions can be imposed on fredom of speech and expression in the interest of security of State. The object behind the provision is to prohibit unrestrained malicious propaganda against a foreign friendly state. the prevailing reasonable restrictions of 19(2) carries the same rule and in addition added a few more restrictions like not to promote anything that would harm the sovereignty and integrity of India besides it gave exclusive power to the court and no one has the right to criticise or write in their newspapers commenting the judgement given by a Judge of any Court.[Type text] Freedom Of Speech guaranteed by the Indian constitution is subject to certain rules and regulations which are called as reasonable restrictions. 1951. (XII of 1932) provides punishment for libel by Indian citizens against foreign dignitaries. waging war against the State. Thus speeches or expression on the part of an individual. murder are matters. which incite to or encourage the commission of violent crimes. been named as reasonable restrictions. In India. affray. No similar provision is present in any other Constitution of the world. The detailed explaination of these reasonable restrictions is as follows: These restrictions should be reasonable. The term "security of state" refers only to serious and aggravated forms of public order e. e. 12 . and that state. insurrection and not ordinary breaches of public order and public safety. First reasonable restriction was amended in the year 1951 under 19(2). which would undermine the security of State. 2) Friendly relations with foreign states: This ground was added by the constitution (First Amendment) Act. rebellion. riot. would not justify the suppression of fair criticism of foreign policy of the Government. unlawful assembly. Interest of friendly relations with foreign States. which may jeopardise the maintainance of good relations between India. This British India’s act asked the Press to submit a security deposit with subject to the forfeiting of the amount if the Press crosses certain limitations like • Promoting hatred towards government • Inciting and promoting any public servant to act irresponsible towards his duties • Promoting hatred between communities • Defaming the government Now.g. There are mentioned in the second chapter. This reasonable restriction took its birth from British Indian Government’s India Press (Emergency) Act 1931.g. the Foreign Relations Act.
The test for determining whether an act affects law and order or public order is to see whether the act leads to the disturbances of the current of life of the community so as to amount to a disturbance of the public order or whether it affects merely an individual being the tranquility of the society undisturbed. the Supreme Court explained the differences between three terms Law and order. Public order also includes public safety.[Type text] It is to be noted that member of the commonwealth including Pakistan is not a "foreign state" for the purposes of this Constitution. 13 .13 Public order is something more than ordinary maintenance of law and order. safety and tranquility. The words 'in the interest of public order' includes not only such utterances as are directly intended to lead to disorder but also those that have the tendency to lead to disorder. AIR 1948. But there must be reasonable and proper nexus or relationship between the restrictions and the achievements of public order. 'Public order' is an expression of wide connotation and signifies "that state of tranquility which prevails among the members of political society as a result of internal regulations enforced by the Government which they have established. 4) Decency or morality: The words 'morality or decency' are words of wide meaning. Thus communal disturbances and strikes promoted with the sole object of accusing unrest among workmen are offences against public order. Under public order the State would be entitled to prevent propaganda for a state of war with India. In its external aspect 'public safety' means protection of the country from foreign aggression." In Kishori Mohan v/s State of West Bengal. The result is that freedom of speech and expression cannot be restricted on the ground that the matter is adverse to Pakistan. 13 Om Prakash v/s Emperor. Thus creating internal disorder or rebellion would affect public order and public safety. public order and security of the state. Sections 292 to 294 of the Indian Penal Code provide instances of restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression in the interest of decency or morality and issues of obscenity in the context of media. 'Public order' is synonymous with public peace. 3) Public Order: This ground was added by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act. Public order thus implies absence of violence and an orderly state of affairs in which citizens can peacefully pursue their normal avocation of life. But mere criticism of government does not necessarily disturb public order. Thus a law punishing utterances made with the deliberate intention to hurt the religious feelings of any class of persons is valid because it imposes a restriction on the right of free speech in the interest of public order since such speech or writing has the tendency to create public disorder even if in some case those activities may not actually lead to a breach of peace. Whatever which tends to disturbs public peace will in turn disturb public order. Anything that disturbs public tranquility or public peace disturbs public order.
7) Incitement to an offence: This ground was also added by the constitution (First Amendment) Act. It should be noted that the sedition is not mentioned in clause (2) of Art. amounts to defamation. This defamation is of two types• • Libel Slander Libel means defaming the person through written words and slander means defaming the person orally which means abusing the person. 1951. or writing which are calculated to disturb the tranquility and peace of the State and lead ignorant person to damage the government14. It means that if someone says ill about first part to the third party it amounts to defamation. ridicule. 5) Contempt of Court: Restriction on the freedom of speech and expression can be imposed if it exceeds the reasonable and fair limit and amounts to contempt of court. 8) Sedition: Sediton means defamaning the state through words. Defamation consists in exposing a man to hatred. etc. The civil law in relating to defamation is still uncodified in India and subject to certain exceptions.[Type text] These sections prohibit the sale or distribution or exhibition of obscene words. Obviously. 14 R. 19 as one of the grounds on which restrictions on freedom of speech and expression may be imposed. in public places. freedom of speech and expression cannot confer a right to incite people to commit offence. which injures a man's reputation.' 6) Defamation: A statement. Even poems which advocates overthrowing the government will come under sedition and those stories or articles or poems will be termed as seditious. or contempt. No fix standard is laid down till now as to what is moral and indecent.V Sallivan (1868) 11 cox cases 55 14 . The word 'offence' is defined as any act or omission made punishable by law for the time being in force. For example If A and B are two parties and due to some problesm or hatred between the both. According to the Section 2 'Contempt of court' may be either 'civil contempt' or 'criminal contempt. Every year many cases are filed under Defamatin mentioned in 1PC 499 A. The standard of morality varies from time to time and from place to place. if B tells ill about A to C then A is said to be defamed.
communicate and manufacture any secret code. or making a sketch. All these documents are locked in for 30 years. governments have found the caves to hide themselves and their actions." In these sections." Voluntary reception.’ When a government chooses to victimize a newspaper. or as a person who is or has been employed under a person who holds or has held such an office or contract. And they are not released after the stipulated period as it happens. This section is also expanded to fit in any interpretation and cover. Section 6 of the Official Secrets Act makes it an offence "to retain. According to Section 4. it is unlawful to communicate with foreign agents or any person "reasonably suspected" as foreign agent. The Act was amended in 1967 in order to make offence punishable with rigorous imprisonments. or which he has obtained or which he has had access owing to his position as person who holds or has held a contract made on behalf of the government. password or any official document if it is kept for any purpose objectively determined to the safety of the state. ‘enemy’ is interpreted to include ‘political enemy. plan or model or note which is intended to be. directly or indirectly. The dangerous reach of the Official Secrets Act is evident in the fact that magistrates have the power to issue search warrants if there is reasonable grounds of suspicion. Once again. for instance. Confidential and Personal. useful to the enemy. budget leaks. Unclassified cannot be communicated to anyone outside the government without a general or specific order and all communications are through the government-run Press Information Bureau. Classified documents are further categorized into Top Secret. Section 3 of the Act prohibits "approaching. inspecting or passing over or entering in the vicinity of a prohibited place. Secret. collect. "The Official Secrets Act 1923 strides as a colossus declaring the symbolic aims of the government and successfully using a traditional and archaic social psychology to camouflage the activities of the 15 . publish or communicate to any other person these items or other document or information which is calculated to be or might be directly or indirectly. useful to an enemy or which relates to a matter the disclosure of which is likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of India.[Type text] Official Secrets Act The Government Of India divided its documents into two section like Classified and Unclassified. foreign agent is a vague term. it will not look elsewhere." It is also an offence "to obtain. Section 5 relates to failure to take care of all information "which has been entrusted in confidence to him (ie the accused) by any person holding office under government. record. the security of the state or friendly relations with foreign states." The point to be noted: Following the British courts. possession or contract of any such information is also an offence.
The Contempt of Courts Act (1971) literally dragged many journalists to the court for acts that "scandalises or tend to scandalise." Successive committees instituted by the government ritualistically justified the shroud of secrecy. "No one shall be permitted to give any evidence derived from any published official records relating to any affairs of the state except with permission of the officer of the head of the department concerned."15 writes constitutional expert Durga Das Basu in Law of the Press in India. there is Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1972. too." These rules were published till 1973 when they were declared confidential. "The burden of proof rests on the defendant to prove that the statement if true and though it is not necessary that the statement is literally true. 15 Durga Das Basu writes in his book Law of The Press in India 16 . During Emergency. or obstructs or tends to obstruct. the Indian Constitution grants the President a special "power to make rules for the more comfortable transaction of the business relating to the government of India. "The Press Law Inquiry Committee in 1948 found the legislation was necessary and that no move should be made to dislodge from the government its extensive and wide-ranging power to control the flow of information. the administration of justice in any other manner. where reputation is considered as property. In the civil law of defamation." wrote Dhavan." Governments in India have tried several times to introduce new laws to control the media. or lowers or tend to lower the authority of any court" or "prejudices or interferes or tend to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding" or "interferes or tends to interfere with. If this all encompassing Act is not enough to protect the secrets of the government of the people. the burden of proof is on the accused while in other criminal cases the burden is always on the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused. Another legislation that makes India a tough terrain to report is its defamation laws." Such non-bailable offences carried penalties of imprisonment up to five years. who shall give or withhold the information as he thinks fit. So the complainant gets an unfair advantage in India while in the US if a public servant is the defendant." wrote Dhawan. the law is loaded against the defendant. Critical analysis of reasonable restrictions Besides all this legislation. he must prove that it is on the whole substantially true. The judiciary is never on the media besides contempt laws are not that easy. Indira Gandhi's government amended the constitution to prevent courts from having access to the already constitutional rules. The governments of Tamil Nadu and Orissa enacted legislation against "grossly indecent or scurrilous matters or matter intended for blackmail. the onus is on him/her to disprove the report.[Type text] government. In the criminal law of defamation in India.
in fact. till 1991. The Newsprint Import Control Policy (1972-73) restricted the number of pages of newspapers . When it came to television. However. Many governments changed since then."16 says media critic Sevanti Ninan besides recollecting the demolition of Babri Masjid which made the Doordarshan retreat "into news censorship" while CNN and BBC went to town with it. "Following Indira Gandhi's assassination towards the end of 1984. forcing the government to withdraw the legislation." Another method which the governments have used. the government's task was relatively easy. In 1994. When they wanted to target the press. Hong Kong-based Star TV made a silent entry and Indian TV changed forever. So more often than not. is blocking government advertising. protested and wore black badges. Journalists boycotted Parliament. it was finally introduced in Parliament in May 1997. as in the case of The Indian Express in 1987 when the paper was publishing a series of report on the Bofors corruption scandal which allegedly involved the then prime minister of India. the government promulgated an ordinance regulating cable TV. Justice Ray ruled: "The direct effect (of restricting number of pages) is that freedom of speech and expression is infringed. in the 1973 Bennett & Coleman vs Government of India case. As the present government debates whether to allow direct-to-home 16 Words of Sevanti Ninan. Beyond Genocide. Doordarshan. "The government introduced a must-carry stipulation enjoining all cable operators to transmit at least two DD channels. the governments did not need the help of the laws formulated for the purpose. raided publications when they wanted. which the country learned from the BBC. effectively in the case of small newspapers. It realized that it needed legislation to retain control. This was also extensively done during the Emergency. the government in the state of Bihar tried to do the same. They slapped cases against newspapers that refused to budge. The Gulf War brought in CNN and in 1991." The ancient Telegraph Act was still the governing law for television until the Supreme Court of India ruled that "the broadcasting media should be under the control of the public as distinct from the government. This despite stipulation that all national award winning films have to be telecast. a media critic 17 . had the monopoly and gave out the news it wanted to and bocked out the rest. India's government-run channel. The government. One blatant incident of censorship on television happened in 1989 when the Doordarshan refused to telecast an award-winning documentary on the Bhopal gas tragedy. Police were given discretion to arrest and the executive magistrate the power to determine questions of bail. It symbolized AIR's (All India Radio) and Doordarshan's lack of professional independence. the world media overtook it even when the news broke in India. has been a willing slave at the mercy of its master.[Type text] In 1982. the government media delayed announcing her death. Governments used its control over newsprint to make newspaper toe their line." The government rushed to formulate a Broadcasting Bill. The government lost its absolute control over the medium but clung to Doordarshan.
People of rural India. power is all about secrecy and inaccessibility. In a delicate democracy so typical to the subcontinent. which are perceived to be agents of cultural invasion. knowing well that the doors don't open to the outsider. So any struggle against organized corruption. For instance. With a Hindu nationalistic party in power.[Type text] (DTH) technology. the fight for information. matters pertaining to the government are sought-after secrets. they may no longer remain different from the class they rule. most of them poor and illiterate. a Russian channel was banned all over India for obscenity. During the Kargil war. information is power. When everything that they do in the name of governance is out in the open. Perhaps it is ironic that at a time when India tries to race ahead on the information superhighway. in fact. which is institutionalized in the country. where the line between democracy and dictatorship has blurred in the past. The H. For the other side. a fashion channel. district authorities have banned FTV. there has not been an organized effort from the media to fight for their right to information. Each decision by the government of the day could be at the cost of the daily meal of a starving Indian or at the right of the underprivileged. begins with the fight against this spiral of silence. they are increasingly campaigning for more transparency in local administration. Today’s legislation has been allowing the government to give sufficient control to make even foreign channels play to its tunes. the bill for broadcasting reforms remains in deep freeze. are learning that information is power. with designated exceptions. Corruption is easier at the lowest level of bureaucracy as the people it encounters are not even able to read. persist.D. TB6. For the officials and the politicians. Three years have gone by. Strangely though. 18 . With the help of non-governmental organizations working in villages. The government bans programmes that it thinks do not go down well with Indian culture. Shourie committee that was set up in 1997 to prepare a bill submitted the draft to the government. several governments and ministers have spoken about the need for transparency in governance but the Right to Information Bill never crossed the draft phase. the governments of developing democracies hide scandals and skeletons. it is a tool against oppression. In Gujarat. such threat to TV channels. Even local authorities have the power to ban channels in their territories. Behind closed doors. So is the Information Technology Bill which has India's cyber laws. it is a weapon of oppression. to the public. Across India. For the Establishment. The fight of the media in a developing country is. the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 threw open government records. In the US. Pakistan TV was banned. In India. The fight has come from the people.
the fears have not totally disappeared. The bill gives the people access to official documents. the government kept quiet for a full 48 hours. For example. Using a tool called the Public Interest Litigation. It is a known fact that Sec. judicial activism is one social force that has changed the mechanics of governance in the country. 228 A of IPC imposes 2 year imprisonment with or without penalty for revealing the name name and identity of the victim so that he is protected rom further victimization (based on Art. they cannot afford to hang on to an outdated obsession. Over the last five years. to state the facts. The visual media did not hesitate a second to show their bare dead bodies on the television screens. 17 18 Indian Airline Flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Delhi The State Of Karnataka v/sPuttaraja. except the classified ones. ordinary citizens have been able to force Governments and government agencies to reply to questions. Indian Government can still suppress the media if it wants. That these briefings were vague and ambiguous is a different story. In the year 2003 Hyderabad’s media’s reporting on the ending of the lives of three woman in metropolis prove the same. they barged into the Prime Minister's Office that the officials were shamed into giving regular briefings. Supreme Court 433. However. para 1 19 . especially the Internet.[Type text] rural movements for the right to information are gaining momentum and federal governments are realizing that in the age of information technology. AIR 2004. New media. to come clean. 21 which guarantess right to privacy and right to reputation)18. and the rise of cable television are putting increasing pressure on governments and officials to come clean. especially those sections of the media that are applicable. when an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked on December 14th 199917. several such bills are pending in different state capitals while in New Delhi. If we look at the other side media also crossed its limits manier times. the government lords over files like the last sentinel of a defeated empire. What is a fact is that twenty-five summers after Indira Gandhi suspended democratic rights. the government of the western Indian state of Rajasthan passed the Right to Information Bill. This can also be termed as obscenity and there is a chance that it can disturb the viewer and also very sensitive information which can depress anyone under the age of 18. Which way these forces will work or whether they will evolve isn't clear yet. On May 1. It was only when angry relatives began appearing on TV screens and front pages of the newspapers and in one case.
Art 25 and Sec. Infact.19 In United States. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2000 attempts to safeguard the children against invasion of privacy by providing penalty for reporting the identity of the child.21.[Type text] Still photographs of Princess of Wales Diina with her boy friend Dodi Fayed and were allegedly published in a newspaper.21 Commercial Freedom: Freedom to advertise 19 20 21 Hyde Part Residence Ltd v/s Yelland. Hence. 5B of Indian Cinematography Act20. However. Bombay Highcourt’s judges rejected the plea when they saw this documentary and they found it to be very neat and contained no excitement or incitement to offence nor contained the elements which would distrub the sentiments of the public. Ramaesh v/s Union of India. Role Of the Electronic Media TAMAS. AIR 1988 SC 775 LIC of India v/s Supreme Court 554 20 . The very next day they met with an accident and lost their lives. These photgraphs were taken from a secret security camera when they visited Villa Windsor in Paris. television media which telecasts the information can share the right to freedom of speech and expression. a film based on the novel of Bhisma Sahni was banned from screening as it violated Art. The words ‘freedom of speech and expression’ should be treated as freedom to market one’s own views by words or by actions or by visble representations. they agreed with the High Court and gave the degree which says that there is no harm to the public in watchign that movie and hence can be telecaste in television.
This body mentions about advertisements too. a body of ethics and principles mentions certain guidelines to maintain a qualitative Journalism. Some in colour.22 The Supreme Court gave an interesting vrdict in Tata Press Ltd v/s Mahanagar Telephone Ltd 23. any commercial advertisement has elements of trade and commerce which is intened to bring economical gain to the advertiser.[Type text] When a reder flips though the newspaper pages it is quite obvious that a reader find many advertisements. some in black and white. In case if advertisments on drugs are banned and restricted. None the less. More the number of advertisements better the revenue. a few covers quarter page besides a few small ads. the council says that a newspaper should carry news and advertisements in the ratio of 60:40. it is a known fact. stating that all advertisments. However. even its commercial will be considered as a part of freedom of speech and expression and will be subjected to reasonable restrictions under Art 19(2). Conclusion 22 23 Hamdard Dawakhana v/s Union Of India 1995. it does’nt mean that it is a voilation of freedom of expression. 5 SSC 139 21 . manier times a complete back page becomes an advertisment. The Press Council. Any news paper should generate a revenue so that it can run its business full flegedly and it has an equal freedom to advertise which forms a part and parcel of the Press freedom. Nevertheless. Hence all the advertisements will not be treated as a part of freedom of speech and expression mentioned in the Article 19 (1) (a).
it has been euqally respected. Foot Notes 22 . these freedoms require constant confirmation. Our democracy is a "market place of ideas and opinions" and we should make it happen in reality.. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. Right to freedom of expression should be the aim of any media. The freedom of the press and of the media in general is at the heart of the Charter of Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to its citizens. Because without freedom of information. Freedom of speech and expression is one among those basic rights.[Type text] Though there is no special provisions for Freedom of the press. Freedom of expression and freedom of information should aim for social development as it is the stepping stone for the development of a fair and democratic society.. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. Even if freedom of expression and freedom of information may appear self-evident. freedom of expression often remains meaningless. It has been protected by the Constitution as a fundamental right. The freedom to express one's opinion – either by words or by signs or by visible representations. the fundamental rights are being looked upon and respected in our country. Freedom of expression is one of the most important fundamental rights of any democractic country.
to The Times Of India on 2nd November 2002 • Quoted by Robin Jeffrey in India's Newspaper Revolution.[Type text] • L. 5 SSC 139 23 . AIR 1958 SC 578. para 1 • Hyde Part Residence Ltd v/s Yelland. AIR 2004. AIR 1948.S. 1950 SCR 594.K Advani expressing his views on emergency. AIR 1950 SC 129 • AIR 1957 SC 896. 607 • Brij Bhushan v/s Statw Of Delhi. AIR 1988 SC 775 • LIC of India v/s Supreme Court 554 • Hamdard Dawakhana v/s Union Of India • 1995. • says the author in his book ‘regional press in India. 617 • John Campbell Salvatore Sirose v/s The Queen • Om Prakash v/s Emperor.M Sharma v/s Sri Krishna Sinha. 247 US 214 • Ind. • R. 402 • Ramesh Thappar v/s State Of Madras. Exp v/s Union Of India (1985) 1 SCC 641 • M. Supreme Court 433.’ • Rajeev Dhavan’s story published in only the good news • A statement said by Louis Brandeis in Whitney v/s Clifornia.V Sallivan (1868) 11 cox cases 55 • Words of Sevanti Ninan. • Ramaesh v/s Union of India. AIR 1959 SC 395. a media critic • Indian Airline Flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Delhi • The State Of Karnataka v/sPuttaraja.
[Type text] Bibliography • • • • • • • • • http://usinfo. Agarwal The Professional Journalist 24 .gov/products/pubs/principles/speech.com/articleshow/1582894.V Pylee Mass Communication in India Theory and Practice of Journalism in India by A.indiatimes.cms Indian Contitution by M. Andhra Pradesh http://timesofindia.htm Law of the Press by Durga Das Basu Module 1 of Nalsar Media Laws Course by Dr.K. Sridhar Acharyulu Civics text for Intermediate by Telugu Akademi.state.