Article 19 Project Blog

The Enigma of Obscenity: The Transforming Contours of Morality, Community and Article 19

By Anirudh Tyagi. What is obscene shall always be a matter of bitter contention in a democracy that juxtaposes cultural restrictions with modern liberties. Recently, a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against a film personality who was found to be running naked on a beach in India for “promoting obscenity”. Also the Madras High Court has recently restrained the telecast of obscene advertisements on television. The judgment, however, is yet to be delivered. One actress-mother was held guilty of propagating obscenity when she allowed her sons to paint her naked body. Although the facts in these cases differ in intensity, they run on a common theme-obscenity and its tumultuous relationship with freedom to speech and expression. Read more.

Constitutionality of Contempt Laws in light of Article 19(1)(a)

By Anuli Mandlik. Since the contempt case against senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, there has been a heated debate regarding the constitutionality of contempt laws in India. In this article the author briefly discusses the origins of contempt laws and the current legislation governing contempt in detail. Further, the author assesses the co-existence of the current contempt laws with Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India while discussing the Prashant Bhushan case at length. Read more.

Minors’ Participation In Protests: Balancing Rights And Restrictions

By Soumya Ghosal. The most distinctive characteristic of a democratic setup is the right to express your dissent against the majoritarian opinion or the authoritarian view. The most effective and promising way of conveying one’s disagreement has been through the way of protesting. Recently, a minor’s right to protest has come under the radar, with the Supreme Court’s prohibition of the entry of children in sites of agitation during the protests against the newly passed Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, in the light of the death of an infant at Shaheen Bagh. The author traces the source of a minor’s inherent right to protest in international and domestic laws, analyzes the reported concerns around a minor’s participation in protest and provides a comprehensive conclusion. Read more.

Interpretation of the Freedom of Speech and Expression Through the Lens of Public Order

By Noyonika Borah. Every right comes with its fair share of responsibilities and limitation. The right to freedom of speech is bound by certain “reasonable restrictions”. These reasonable restrictions protect the integrity of India, the security of the state, prevent public disorder, among other things. A key incentive for limiting is the right to express one’s opinion is for the cause of Public Order. Read more.