Apex Court has held the “Freedom of expression is the rule and it is generally taken for granted. Every one has a fundamental right to form his own opinion on any issue of general concern. He can form and inform by any legitimate means.” in the case of a Tamil film called as “Ore Oru Gramathile”, starring Lakshmi.
It is difficult to understand how the expression in the film with criticism of reservation policy or praising the colonial rule will affect the security of the State or sovereignty and integrity of India. There is no utterance in the film threatening to overthrow the Govt. by unlawful or unconstitutional means. There is no talk of secession either nor is there any suggestion for impairing the integration of the country. The film seems to suggest that the existing method of reservation on the basis of caste is bad and reservation on the basis of economic backwardness is better. The film also deprecates exploitation of people on caste considerations.
The fundamental freedom under Art. 19(1)(a) can be reasonably restricted only for the purposes mentioned in Art. 19(2) and the restriction must be justified on the anvil of necessity and not the quicks and of convenience and expediency. Open criticism of Government policies and operations is not a ground for restricting expression. We must practice tolerance to the views of others. Intolerance is as much dangerous to democracy as to the person himself.”
A article from NyTimes
From Tamil Film, a Landmark Case on Free Speech
Indiankanoon.org link: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/341773/
Equivalent citations: 1989 SCR (2) 204, 1989 SCC (2) 574
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