Report No. 275
A. NCRWC Report, 200232
2.4 Under Chapter 3 of this Report, certain amendments to fundamental rights were suggested.
2.5 Regarding the definition of 'State' it was averred that - Fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution are, in the absence of specific constitutional provisions, mainly enforceable against 'the State'. The definition of 'the State' in Article 12 being an 'inclusive' one, courts have ruled that where there is pervasive or predominant governmental control or significant involvement in its activity, such bodies, entities and organizations fall within the definition of 'the State'. It is recommended that in Article 12 of the Constitution, the following Explanation should be added: -
Explanation - In this Article, the expression "other authorities" shall include any person in relation to such of its functions which are of a public nature.
2.6 It was further recommended that Article 19(1)(a) must be amended to expressly include the freedom of press and other media, the freedom to hold opinion and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. It was also proposed to amend Article 19(2) adding a further restriction on disclosure of information received in confidence except if required in public interest.
2.7 NCRWC recommended that Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(2) be amended to read as follows:
Art. 19(1) All citizens shall have the right - (a) to freedom of speech and expression which shall include the freedom of the press and other media, the freedom to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. 19(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, or preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence except when required in public interest.
2.8 As can be observed, the NCRWC advised to include within the scope of other authorities - any person in relation to such of its functions which are of a public nature, thus expanding the ambit of application of Article 19(1)(a), and simultaneously making the right to information enforceable against such bodies whose functions are in the nature of public functions.