2. The Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of
The document lays down the framework
demarcating fundamental political code,
structure, procedures, powers, and duties of
government institutions and sets out
fundamental rights, directive principles, and
the duties of citizens.
3. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting
committee, is widely considered to be its chief
It imparts constitutional supremacy (not
parliamentary supremacy, since it was created
by a constituent assembly rather than
Parliament) and was adopted by its people
with a declaration in its preamble.
Parliament cannot override the constitution.
4. It is the longest written constitution of any
country on earth.
At its commencement, it had 395 articles in 22
parts and 8 schedules.
It consists of approximately 145,000 words,
making it the second largest active constitution
in the world.
Currently, it has a preamble, 25 parts with 12
schedules, 5 appendices, 448 articles, and
6. The Preamble of Constitution of
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to
constitute India into a
SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC
and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the
dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of
do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES
Sovereign means the independent authority of
It means that it has the power to legislate on
any subject; and
that it is not subject to the control of any other
State or external power.
Before the term was added by the 42nd
Amendment in 1976, the Constitution had socialist
content in the form of certain Directive Principles
of State Policy.
The term socialist as used here refers to
democratic socialism, i.e. achievement of socialist
goals through democratic, evolutionary and non-
Essentially, it means that (since wealth is
generated socially) wealth should be shared
equally by society through distributive justice, not
concentrated in the hands of few, and that the
government should regulate the ownership of land
and industry to reduce socio-economic
Secular means that the relationship between the government
and religious groups are determined according to constitution
and law. It separates the power of the state and religion.
By the 42nd Amendment in 1976, the term "Secular" was also
incorporated in the Preamble. There is no difference of
religion i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism,
Christianity and Islam are equally respected and moreover,
there is no state religion.
All the citizens of India are allowed to profess, practice and
Explaining the meaning of secularism as adopted by India,
Alexander Owics has written, "Secularism is a part of the
basic structure of the Indian Constitution and it means equal
freedom and respect for all religions."
The people of India elect their governments by
a system of universal adult franchise,
popularly known as "one person one vote".
Every citizen of India 18 years of age and
above and not otherwise debarred by law is
entitled to vote.
The word 'democratic' not only refers to
political but also to social & economic
In a republican form of government, the head of
state is elected and not a hereditary monarch.
Thus, this word denotes a government where no
one holds public power as proprietary right.
As opposed to a monarchy, in which the head of
state is appointed on a hereditary basis for life or
at least until abdication, a democratic republic is
an entity in which the head of state is elected,
directly or indirectly, for a fixed tenure.
Thus, India has a President who is elected and
has a fixed term of office.
(i) Social Justice:
Social Justice means the absence of socially privileged classes in the
society and no discrimination against any citizen on grounds of caste,
creed, colour, religion, gender or place of birth.
(ii) Economic Justice:
Economic Justice means no discrimination between man and woman on
the basis of income, wealth and economic status. It stands for equitable
distribution of wealth, economic equality, the end of monopolistic control
over means of production and distribution, decentralisation of economic
resources, and the securing of adequate opportunities to all for earning
(iii) Political Justice:
Political justice means equal, free and fair opportunities to the people for
participation in the political process. It stands for the grant of equal political
rights to all the people without discrimination. The Constitution of India
provides for a liberal democracy in which all the people have the right and
freedom to participate.
The idea of Liberty refers to the freedom on
the activities of Indian nationals.
This establishes that there are no
unreasonable restrictions on Indian citizens in
term of what they think, their manner of
expressions and the way they wish to follow
up their thoughts in action.
However, liberty does not mean freedom to do
anything, and it must be exercised within the
This envisages that no section of the society
enjoys special privileges and individuals are
provided with adequate opportunities without
any discrimination: all are equal before the
This refers to a feeling of brotherhood and a
sense of belonging with the country among its
It embraces psychological as well as territorial
dimensions of National Integration.
It leaves no room for regionalism,
communalism, casteism etc., which hinders
the unity of the State.
17. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of
India on 26 November 1949 and became effective
on 26 January 1950.
The constitution replaced the Government of India
Act, 1935 as the country's fundamental governing
document, and the Dominion of India became the
Republic of India.
To ensure constitutional autochthony, its framers
repealed prior acts of the British parliament in
India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as
18. The constitution declares India a sovereign,
socialist, secular, democratic republic,
assuring its citizens justice, equality and
liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity.
The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a
helium-filled case at the Parliament House in
The words "secular" and "socialist" were
added to the preamble in 1976 during the
19. Constitution of India and
The Constitution of India guarantees various
fundamental rights to its citizens. One such
important right is right to freedom under Article
The rights to freedom are the most important
fundamental rights guaranteed by the
constitution of India. It is the prevalence of
these freedoms that make democracy
21. Article 19 of the constitution now
provides six freedoms namely :
1. Right to freedom of speech and expression,
2. Right to assemble peaceably and without arms,
3. Right to form associations or unions,
4. Right to move freely throughout the territory of
5. Right to reside and settle in any part of the
territory of India,
6. omitted by 44th amendment act. (it was right to
acquire, hold and dispose of property)
7. Right to practice any profession or to carry on
any occupation trade or business.
22. Each one of these six freedoms is subject to some
For rights can never be absolute.
Individual rights must be reconciled with the interests of
For instance, the right of a person to move anywhere
does not enable him to enter any place that he likes.
The restrictions imposed by the legislature are for the
It is logical that equal rights for all must mean limited
rights for any.
Hence, the state may impose ‘reasonable restrictions’
upon the exercise of any of these rights.
23. Article 19(1)(a)–19(2)
Freedom of speech and
Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India states
that, “all citizens shall have the right to freedom of
speech and expression”.
The philosophy behind this Article lies in the
Preamble of the Constitution, where a solemn
resolve is made to secure to all its citizen, liberty
of thought and expression.
The exercise of this right is, however, subject to
“reasonable restrictions” for certain purposes
being imposed under Article 19(2) of the
Constitution of India.
24. The main elements of right to freedom of
speech and expression.
1) This right is available only to a citizen of India and not to
2) The freedom of speech under Article 19(1) (a) includes
the right to express one’s views and opinions at any issue
through any medium, e.g. by words of mouth, writing,
printing, picture, film, movie etc.
3) This right is, however, not absolute and it allows
Government to frame laws to impose reasonable
restrictions in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of
India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign
states, public order, decency and morality and contempt
of court, defamation and incitement to an offence.
4) Thus, failure on the part of the State to guarantee to all its
citizens the fundamental right to freedom of speech and
expression would also constitute a violation of Article
25. The freedom of speech and expression is regarded as first
condition of liberty. It occupies a preferred and important
position in the hierarchy of the liberty, it is truly said about the
freedom of speech that it is the mother of all the other
In modern time it is widely accepted that the right to freedom
of speech is the essence in the society and it must be
safeguarded all the time.
The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of
words in a open forum.
Liberty to express opinions and ideas without hindrance, and
especially without fear of punishment plays significant role in
the development of the particular society and ultimately for
It is one of the most important fundamental liberties
guaranteed against state suppression or regulation.
26. International Conventions
The freedom of speech and expression is not
only guaranteed by the Constitution or statutes
of various states but also by various
international conventions like :
• Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
• European Convention on Human Rights and
• International Covenant on Civil and Political
These declarations expressly talks about
freedom of speech and expression.
Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian constitution
impose certain restrictions on the exercise of the right
to freedom of speech and expression on eight
grounds. These are:
I. security of the State,
II. friendly relations with foreign States
III. public order
IV. decency and morality
V. contempt of court
VII. incitement to an offence, and
VIII. sovereignty and integrity of India.
28. Security of the State:
Reasonable restrictions can be imposed on
the freedom of speech and expression, in the
interest of the security of the State. The term
security of state has to be distinguished from
For security of state refers to serious and
aggravated forms of public disorder, example
rebellion, waging war against the state [entire
state or part of the state], insurrection etc.
29. Friendly relations with foreign
This ground was added by the Constitution
(First Amendment) Act of 1951.
The State can impose reasonable restrictions
on the freedom of speech and expression, if it
hampers the friendly relations of India with
other State or States.
30. Public order:
This ground was added by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act,
1951 in order to meet the situation arising from the Supreme Court's
decision in Romesh Thapar’s, case (AIR 1950 SC 124).
As per hon’ble Supreme court, public order is different from law and
order and security of state [Kishori Mohan v. State of West
The expression 'public order' connotes the sense of public peace,
safety and tranquillity.
Anything that disturbs public peace disturbs public order [Om
Prakash v. Emperor, AIR 1948 Nag, 199].
But mere criticism of the government does not necessarily disturb
A law, which punishes the deliberate utterances hurting the religious
feelings of any class has been held to be valid and reasonable
restriction aimed to maintaining the public order.
31. Decency and morality
Decency and morality section 292 to 294
of the Indian Penal Code provide
instances of restrictions on the freedom of
speech and expression on the grounds of
decency and morality, it prohibits the sale
or distribution or exhibition of obscene
The standard of morality changes with
32. Contempt of court:
The constitutional right to freedom of speech
would not allow a person to contempt the
The expression Contempt of Court has been
defined Section 2 of the Contempt of Courts
The term contempt of court refers to civil
contempt or criminal contempt under the Act.
The clause (2) of Article 19 prevents any person
from making any statement that defames the
reputation of another.
Defamation is a crime in India inserted into
Section 499 and 500 of the I.P.C.
Right to free speech is not absolute. It does
not mean freedom to hurt another’s reputation
which is protected under Article 21 of the
Although truth is considered a defence against
defamation, but the defence would help only if the
statement was made ‘for the public good.’ And
that is a question of fact to be assessed by the
34. Incitement to an offense
This ground was also added by the
Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951.
The Constitution also prohibits a person from
making any statement that incites people to
35. Sovereignty and integrity of
This ground was added subsequently by the
Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963.
This is aimed to prohibit anyone from making the
statements that challenge the integrity and
sovereignty of India.
To conclude, right to freedom of speech and
expression, is an important fundamental right,
scope of which, has been widened to include
freedom of press, right to information including
commercial information, right to silence and right
The said right is however, subjective to
reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2).
36. Article 19(1)(b) & 19(3)
Freedom of Assembly
The constitution guarantees to its citizens the right
to assemble peaceably and without arms.
This right includes the right to hold meetings and
to take out processions.
This right may be restricted in the interest of the
public order or sovereignty and integrity of the
This article has also been reviewed an interpreted
by the Supreme Court many times.
It’s worth note that section 144 of the Sub-section
(6), of the Code of Criminal Procedure can be
imposed by the government in certain areas which
makes the assembly of 5 or more people an
37. This section was challenged in the supreme court
via Kamla Kant Mishra And ors. vs State Of Bihar
And ors. Case (1962), on the basis that it violates
article 19(1) of the constitution and thus is invalid.
The Supreme Court in its judgment held that
power conferred upon the State Government
under Section 144, Sub-section (6), of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, is constitutionally valid.
Section 129 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
authorizes the police to disperse any unlawful
assembly which may cause disturbance to public
38. Article 19(1)(c) & 19(4)
Freedom of Association
The constitution provides that ‘all citizens shall
have the freedom to form associations or
This right is however, subject to the power of
the state to make any law imposing
reasonable restrictions on such right, like :
• In the interest of Sovereignty and Integrity of
• Public Order and Morality
39. Article 19(1)(d) & 19(5)
Freedom of Movement
The freedom of movement is guaranteed by the
constitution and citizens can move from one state to
another and anywhere within a state.
A person free to move from any point to any point
within the country’s territories. There are certain
exceptions such as Scheduled Tribes areas and army
The free movement guaranteed by Art 19(1)(d) relates
not to the general right of locomotion, but to the
particular right of moving from one part of Indian
territory to another, without any kind of discriminatory
barriers between one state and another or between
different part of the same state.(Gopalan V State of
Madras, 1950 S.C.R 88)
40. Article 19(1)(e) & 19(5)
Freedom of Residence
This right is a necessary corollary to the above
freedom. If a citizen has the freedom to move
freely throughout the territory of India, he must
necessarily also have the right to reside and settle
in any part of the country.
The state may impose the reasonable restrictions
on the freedom in the interests of the general
public or for the protection of the interest of
An Indian Citizen is free to reside in any state
except Jammu & Kashmir. Again this is subject to
41. Article 19(1)(f) & 19(5)
Right to Property
Freedom to acquire, hold and dispose of
property was the right provided by the
Constitution of India.
But this right is been omited/deleted by the
forty- fourth Amendment, 1978
The net effect of this deletion is that an Indian
citizen no longer enjoys a fundamental right to
acquire, hold and dispose of Property.
42. Article 19(1)(g) & 19(6)
Freedom of Trade & occupation
Article 19(1)(g) confers on every citizen the
freedom to practice any profession or to carry on
any occupation, trade or business.
Every citizen has the right to choose any
employment or to take up any trade or business,
subject only to the limits as may be imposed by
the state in the interest of public welfare.
But this article does not guarantee a monopoly to
any individual or association to carry on any
The right to carry on a business also includes the
right to close it any time the owner likes.