“Press at par excellence”.

“A Free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the
Government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter
over selves. ‘Freedom’ means absence of control, interference or
restrictions. Hence, the expression ‘Freedom of press’ means the right
to print and publish without any interference from the state or any
other public authority. But this, Freedom, like other freedoms, cannot
be absolute but is subject to well known exceptions acknowledge in the
public interests, which in India are enumerate in Article. 19 of the

In the U.S.A., the First Amendment, mentioned above, specifically
protects a free press. The view developed by the U.S. Supreme Court is
that Freedom of the press includes more than merely saving as the
“neutral means of term of information between the people and their
elected leaders or as a neutral form of debate”.

What Is Freedom Of Press?
The prime purpose of the free press guarantee is regarded as creating
a fourth institution outside the government as an additional check on
the three official branches:-
• Executive.
• Legislative.
• Judiciary

It is the primary function of the press to provide comprehensive and
object information on all aspects of the country’s social, economic
and political life.
The press serves as a powerful solution of power by government
officials and as a mean for keeping the elected officials responsible
to the people whom they were elected to serve.

In India, freedom of the press is implied from the freedom of speech
and expression guaranteed by Art. 19(1) (a). There is no specific
provision ensuring freedom of press as such. The freedom of the press
is regarded as a ‘species of which freedom of expression is a genius .
Thus, being only a right flowing from the freedom of speech, the
freedom of press in India stands on no higher footing than the freedom
of speech of a citizen, and the press enjoys no privilege as such
distinct from the freedom of the citizen. The Supreme Court had laid
emphasis in several cases

On the importance of maintaining freedom of press in a democratic
society. The press seeks to advance public interest by publishing
facts and opinions without which a independent voters cannot make
responsible judgments. Articles and News are published in the press
from time to time to expose the weakness of the government. This leads
At times to the suppression of the freedom of the press by the

Cases Related To Freedom Of Press.
This is therefore, the primary duty of the judiciary to up hold the
said freedom of the press and invalidated all the laws r
administrative actions which interfere with the freedom of press
contrary to the constitutional mandate.

In the Printers (Mysore) Ltd v.Astt Commercial Tax Officer , The
Supreme Court has held that no sales tax can be imposing on sale of
newspaper in the country. However, the court clarified that this does
not mean that press is safe either from taxation or from journal law
relating to industrial relations or from the state regulation of the
condition of service of its employees. The prohibition is upon the
imposition of any restrictions to broadcast information and to the
circulation of the newspapers.

A freedom of press has always been a cherished right on all democratic
countries. The newspapers not only survey news but also ideas, opinion
and ideologies, beside much else. They are suppose to guard public
interest by bringing to fore the misdeeds, failings and lapses of the
government and other bodies exercising governing power

The court held that the freedom of press stands at higher footing than
other enterprises in this view, the test for determining the virus of
a statute taxing news print have, therefore, to be different from the
test usually to be adopted. The judges held that the newspapers are
entitled to the benefit of the central sale tax 4% on purchase of raw
material which they require for printing and publishing of newspapers.

Indian Express Newspapers v. Union of India speaking about the utility
of freedom of press the court observes:-
“The expression “freedom of the press” has not been issues in article
19 but it is comprehended within article 19(1)(a). The expression
means freedom from interference from authority which would have the
effect of the interference with the content nd the circulation of the
newspapers and cannot be any interference with that freedom in the
name of public interest. Freedom of press is the heart of social and
political intercourse it is the primary duty of the courts to up hold
the freedom of the press and in validate all laws or administrative
actions with interfere with it contrary to the constitutional

The question of validity of censorship came up for consideration in
the case of Brij Bhushan v. State of Delhi . In that case the Chief
Commissioner of Delhi, in pursuance of Section 7 of the East Punjab
Safety Act, 1949 issued an order against the printer, publisher and
the editor of an English Weekly of Delhi, called the Organizer,
directing them to submit for analysis in duplicate before publication
till further orders, all communal matters and news and views, about
the Pakistan including the photographs and cartoons other than those
derived from official source of supplied by the news agencies.

The Court struck down the order, observing that the press which is the
essential part of the freedom of the speech and expression declared by
Article 19(1)(a). Similarly, prohibiting newspaper from the
publication of its own views or the views of the correspondence about
the burning topic of the day is the serious encroachment on the
valuable rights of the freedom of speech and expression.

In Express Newspapers v. Union of India . In this case the validity of
the Working Journalist Act 1955 was challenged. This Act was enacted
to regulate conditions of service of persons employed in newspaper
industries. The Court held that Act is valid .It is said that press
was not immune from laws of general application or ordinary forms of
taxation or laws of industrial relations .The Act was passed to
improve the service conditions of the women in the newspaper industry
and therefore, impose reasonable restriction on the right guaranteed
by Article 19(1)(a).

In Romesh Thapper v. State of Madras, a law banning entry and
circulation of journal in a state was held to be invalid . The Court
Held that that there can be no doubt that freedom of speech and
expression includes freedom of propagation of ideas, and that freedom
is ensured by the freedom of circulation .A law which authorizes
imposition of restrictions on grounds of ‘public safety or the
‘maintenance of public order’ falls outside the scope of the
authorized restrictions under clause (2) and therefore void and

In Sakal Papers Ltd v. Union of India the Daily Newspaper (Price and
Control) Order, 1960
, which fixed a minimum price and number of pages
which a newspaper was entitled to publish was challenged as
unconstitutional by the petitioner on the ground that it infringed the
liberty of press. The petitioner was required to increase the price of
their newspaper without increasing the pages. An increase in price
without any increase in number of pages would reduce the volume of the
circulation. On the other hand, any decrease in the number of pages
would reduce the column, space for news, views, or ideas. The order
therefore, acted as double-edged knife. It cuts circulation by a price
rise or publication or dissemination of news, ideas and knowledge by
restricting column space consequently to decrease in the number of
pages. The State justify the law as a reasonable restriction on a
business activity of a newspaper in the interest of the general
Public. The Court struck down the order rejecting the State argument
.It said that the right of freedom of speech and expression cannot be
taken away with the object of placing the restrictions on the business
activity of a citizen. Freedom of Speech can be only be restricted on
the grounds mentioned in clause (2) of Article 19. It cannot, like the
freedom to carry on business, be shortened in the interest of the
general public.

In Bennet Colman and Co. v. Union Of India the validity of the News
print Control Order which fixed the maximum number of pages ( 10 pages
which a newspaper could published was challenged as a violative of
fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) and Article 14
of the constitution. The Supreme Court rejected this contention and
approved the “effect” test whether the “effect” of impugned law is to
abridge a fundamental right, its object or subject matter will be

In a historic judgment in R.Rajagopal v. State of TamilNadu the
Supreme Court has held that the government has no authority in law to
impose a prior – restrain upon publication of defamatory material
against its officials. Public authorities who apprehend that they or
their colleagues may be defamed could not prevent the press from
publications of such material, could take action for damages after the
publications of such material if they prove that the publication was
based on false facts. The court held that no actions could be
initiated against the press if the publications were based on public
records including court records.

Freedom of the Press, the Court said, means absence of interference by
the state accept in so far as it is authorized by the constitution and
by laws.

The ruling was given by the court while allowing a writ petition by a
Tamil Weekly Magazine “Nakheeran” seeking a direction to the TamilNadu
Government from interfering with the publications of the autobiography
of the condemned prisoners, Auto Shanker, in the magazine who had been
charged and tried for as many as six murders. This mercy petition to
the president of India was pending consideration. The petitioner was
editor, printer and publisher of the magazine published from Madras.
The second petitioner is the associate editor of the magazine. Their
case is the condemned prisoner Auto Shanker who was convicted for six
murders and sentenced to death had written his autobiography in jail
and had handed over the same to his wife with the knowledge and
approval of the jail authorities, for being delivered to his advocate
with her request to publish it in the petitioner’s magazines. The
autobiography depicted a close relationship between the prisoners and
several IAS, IPS and other Officers, where indeed his partners in
several crimes. The petitioner decided to commence the serial
publications of the autobiography for this purpose they announce that
very soon the magazine would be coming out with sensational life
history of Auto Shanker. This announcement sent shocked waves among
several police and prison officials who were afraid that their links
with the condemned prisoners would be exposed they force Auto Shanker,
by applying third degree methods, to write letters addressed to the
inspector general of the prisoners and the editor of the magazine
requesting that his life story should not be published in the

magazine. On July 15th, 1994 informing him that the autobiography was
false and Auto Shanker had denied he had written any such book an
therefore ask him to stop the publications of serial.

The Division Bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Mr. Justice
B.P.Jeevan Reedy and Mr. Justice Suhas C. Sen, has held that
petitioner has right to publish the autobiography of Auto Shanker in
so far as it appears from the public records even without his consent
or authorization. But if they go beyond that and publish his life
story they may be invading his right to privacy and will be liable for
the consequences in accordance with law. The remedy of the affected
officials, if any, is after the publications, the Court said.

On the issue of the citizen’s right to privacy, the Court held it is
included in Article 21 of the Constitution and “A citizen has right to
safe guard, the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation,
motherhood, child bearing and education among other matters.” None can
publish anything concerning the above matters without the persons

The Court made it clear that any publications containing the privacy
aspects would become unobjectionable it is enough for the press to
prove that he acted after a reasonable verification of the facts; It
is not necessary for the press to prove that what is published that is

But in the interest of decency an exception has to be carried out to
this rule, that is, the name of a female who has victim of sexual
assault, kidnapping, abduction, or a like offence should not be
published in the Press. The right of Privacy of public servants,
however, stands on different footing. The Court ‘accordingly held that
the petitioners were entitled to publish the autobiography of Auto
Shanker as it appeared from public record’

“The more time you spend in India, the more u realizes that the
country is one of the world’s greatest wonders-a miracle with the
message .And the message is democracy matters”. - Thomas Friedman.

To conclude the freedom of Press has to be protected no doubt but at
the same time, the freedom of individual even in the press also to be
protected, preserved an any attempt to encroach the freedom of
individual has to be prevented.

The ideal situation is that the press should have the self monitoring
of their acts / behaviors while dealing with the freedom of
individuals, which does not deal with any matter of the public

But in the interest of decency an exception has to be carried out to
this rule, that is, the name of a female who has victim of sexual
assault, kidnapping, abduction, or a like offence should not be
published in the Press that should be strictly taken care off. Because
without any of the proper information the if the wrong information is
published than the reputations the individual will be violate. So the
more emphasis would be given to information related to the women who
is affected any kind of the above mention crimes.

For that the more strict rules and regulation should be made and also
the strict punishment also be made.