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Report No. 101

1.3. Classification of institutions that need the freedom of speech.-

This, in our opinion, creates a serious anomaly. There are numerous organisations and institutions that need the freedom of speech and expression. They fall into several broad categories. There are, in the first place, commercial organisations (for example, companies owning newspapers), whose primary object is to disseminate or publish news with a motive of profit. Secondly, there are entities connected, with the publication of views (e.g. companies owning magazines), again with a profit motive. Thirdly, there are organisations (such as, companies producing or distributing films), which are engaged in certain activities wherein, though the dissemination of news or the propagation of views may not be the direct objective of those activities, yet views are propagated in circumstances to which questions of freedom of expression become very crucial.

The depiction of life in all its reality and in all its variety, through visual or audio-visual media, is done so intensively in the activities of these organisations, that questions of freedom of expression possess real significance for them1. The three categories of entities enumerated above have been selected from the commercial field. Besides these and as a fourth category one should mention non-commercial Corporations, which are engaged in activities either directly involving the dissemination of news or propagation of views, or occasionally involving such operations.

Fifthly, there are corporate bodies (e.g. Universities and institutions having University status), whose activities may occasionally involve questions of freedom of speech and expression, particularly where the universities actively organise lectures and seminars or bring out publications as a part of their activities. In this connection, it may be of interest to mention that Bar Councils are, by statute, now empowered to organise seminars and bring out publications2.

1. See paras. 4.2 to 4.7, infra.

2. Section 6, Advocates Act, 1961 (as amended in 1973).

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

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