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Report No. 101

Chapter 2


2.1. Drafting history of Article 19.-

For the purposes of this Report, we have tried to examine the question why, at the time of framing of the Indian Constitution, Article 19 was decided to be confined to citizens. It appears that the Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights first considered, on March 25, 1947, the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and other rights as contained in the drafts of Dr. Munshi and Dr. Ambedkar. Dr. Munshi's draft1 proposed that every citizen should have, within the limits of the Union and in accordance with the law of the Union, several personal rights safeguarded to him.

These included the rights of freedom of expression of opinion, of free association and combination, of assembling peacefully and without arms, of secrecy of correspondence, and of free movement and trade. According to this draft, freedom of the press was also to be guaranteed, subject only to such restrictions imposed by the law of the Union as might be necessary in the interests of public order or morality2. Dr. Ambedkar's draft proposed that "no law shall be made abridging the freedom of speech, of the press, of association, and of assembly, except for considerations of public order and morality."3-4

1. Munshi's draft, Article V(1) and (2), Select Documents II, 4(ii)(b), p. 75.

2. Shiva Rao The Framing of the Constitution of India, (1968), p. 211.

3. Ambedkar's draft Articles 141), (12) and (7); Select Documents, II, 4(11)(d), pp. 86-87.

4. Shiva Rao The Framing of the Constitution of India, (1968), p. 211.

Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19 of the Constitution - Recommendation to Extend it to Indian Corporations Back

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