Freedom of Speech and Expression Cannot be Taken Away by Govt. Notification : SC

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The following few important judgments of Supreme Court as well as High Court are related to freedom of speech and expression.  

1. In Mohd. Jjafar Vs. Union of India, (1994) 3 SCR 111 in this case by a notification dated 10.12.1992, the Central Govt. declared the Jamate-e-Islami Hind (JEIH), an unlawful association under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. One of demands made by JHIE was that the Govt. should hold plebiscite on Kashmir. Part of Notification . viz. “and directs, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of that section, that notification shall have the effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette” was held to be bad in law and was struck down by the court. Further the court held that even temporary suspension of fundamental right is invalid unless covered by Article 19(4). 

2. In Himat Lal K. Shah Vs. Commissioner of Police Ahmadabad, (1973) 2 SCR 266: AIR 1973 SC 87 : 1973 Cr LJ 204, the Constitution Bench of Five Judges has held that “the right to hold public meeting in a public street is fundamental right of citizen…. freedom of assembly is an essential element of a democratic system.” 

3.  In the recent case of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Vs. D.M. Machcilipatnam, AIR 2001 AP 173:2001 (1) Andh LD 260, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has held that “permission to hold public meeting in a public place cannot be denied simply because of the proposed meeting was a religious meeting.”

4.  Recently the Full Bench of Bombay High Court held that right to information is part of cherished fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. The Court further held that fundamental freedom should not be kept in wraps by using outdated of tool of locus standi; Sangharaj Damadhar Rapwate Vs. Nitin Gadre, 2007 (5) AIR Bom R 166 (FB) : 2007 (2) Mah LR 433 (FB). 

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