Freedom of Speech and Expression on Internet: An Emerging Right

Muskan Sharma and Pushkar Bhandarkar
Amity Law School, Amity University Chhattisgarh, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The Constitution of India under Part III provides certain Fundamental Rights, one of these rights is the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression given under Article 19 (1) (a) which includes Right to hold opinion, impart information, Right to commercial speech, Right to advertisement etc. The Right to Free Speech and Expression is a cornerstone of a democratic and welfare society and no doubt without this right the democratic nature of our nation as provided in the Preamble will become a deadlock. The primary principle of a democratic society is an untrammelled flow of words in an open discussion. Under no circumstances except as provided under Article 19 (2) the citizens shall be imprisoned from exercising this Right.

After the advent of the Internet this Right was given a wider connotation by the Judiciary. Internet proved to be a great platform where people exercised Free Speech & Expression and raised their voices for noble causes and for National or International issues having sensitivity. If we believe that individual’s opinion and thought triggers the progress of civilization then Freedom of Speech on Internet is the key to that progress. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its prominent Judgement in Shreya Singhal’s case interpreted that Freedom of Speech and Expression over Internet is constitutionally protected.

This paper will deal with the concept of Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1) (a), how judiciary interpreted it through various judicial pronouncements and recent judgements related to Freedom of Speech and Expression over Internet.