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Report No. 101

3.2. Chronological survey of case law-cases upto 1965.-

Chronologically, the first important case to be noticed on the point at issue is of 1957. The Supreme Court had, in that case1, hinted at the difficulty that might arise, out of the fact that corporations are not "citizens". In 1959, the Supreme Court observed that a non-citizen running a newspaper is not entitled to the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression and, therefore, cannot claim the benefit of liberty of the press2.

Thereafter, there are two decisions of the Supreme Court reported in 1964, relevant to the subject. The first was a ruling of a bench of nine judges which (by majority), held that the provisions of the Citizenship Act were conclusive on the question that a corporation or a company could not be a citizen of India3. In the second case of 1964, it was unanimously decided by a bench of five judges of the Supreme Court that Article 19 guaranteed the rights in question only to citizens as such, and that an association (such as a company) could not lay a claim to the fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 19, solely on the basis of the fact that it was an aggregation of citizens4.

1. R.M.D. Chamarbaugzvalla v. Union of India, 1957 SCR 930.

2. M.S.M. Sharma v. Shri Krishna Sinha, 1959 Supp 1 SCR 806.

3. S.T.C. v. Commercial Tax Officer, (1964) 4 SCR 99.

1. Tata Engineering & Locomotive Co. Ltd. v. State of Bihar, (1964) 6 SCR 85: AIR 1966 SC 40 (48).

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

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