A STUDY OF RIGHT TO EXPRESSION AND RIGHT TO REPUTATION IN INDIA
By Ipsita Sarkar
As per the Indian Constitution, Article 19(1) which discusses the right to freedom of speech and expression, there can be no equality if men are unable to openly express their thoughts to one another. A democracy flourishes not only under the watchful eye of the legislature, but also under the professional guidance and care of the public and the press. The right to reputation requires the protection of human dignity and respect in society. The Supreme Court has consistently stressed the value of the ‘Right to Reputation’ as a critical component of a person’s right to life under Article 21. Usually, when the right to freedom of speech and expression is exercised outside the specific boundaries, it just becomes a violation of the right to reputation. This actively demonstrates that, when the right to reputation is contrasted to freedom of speech and expression, a controversy occurs. When such a controversy arises, it is often termed as defamation. In an idealistic approach, the principle of freedom of speech was extended to the point that other legitimate interests or privileges, such as the right to privacy and reputation, had to be subjected to inroads and lost, to some degree, and unfairly, the essential security that those principles deserve. This research paper thus, aims at knowing the clash between both the rights and would aim at concluding which one precedes over the other, with a study on role of media as well.
Keywords: Freedom of Speech and Expression, Right to Reputation, Defamation.
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