‘India ranks 140th out of 180 countries on a global press freedom index.’
Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution guarantees Freedom of Speech and Expression to every Indian citizen. But there’s no particular mention of Freedom of Press.
Fali Nariman, Lawyer and Padma Vibhushan Awardee, said, “Freedom after speech- that is really what freedom of speech is all about.”
This freedom is countered by Article 19(1)(2) that talks about the limitations that come with the fundamental right mentioned above. It puts limits on a person’s expression. Anything that might harm the sovereignty and integrity of India is the breach of subclause (a) of clause (1) of Article 19.
The major challenge faced by journalists in India is Section 124(a) that brings forth the charges of sedition. In 2018, Kamal Shukla, editor of the ‘Bhumkal Samachar’ newspaper was charged with sedition for sharing a satirical cartoon on Facebook targeting Amit Shah.
Lockdown of internet and barring journalists from visiting a certain place is also violation of Freedom of Press. Kashmir faces a six-month long e-curfew. After Supreme Court ruled out the ban on internet, government made 153 websites accessible increasing the number to 301 on January 24.
Reporters without borders published a report bringing to light that last year 49 journalists were killed, 389 prisoned and 57 held hostage around the world.
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