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The Relation Between Freedom Of Press And The Indian Legislative Provisions

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

“To struggle against censorship, whatever its nature, and whatever the power under which it exists, is my duty as a writer, as a call for freedom of the press.” - Mikhail Bulgakov

The requirement to study Freedom of Press different from Freedom of Expression

Journalism is regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy, the other three are the legislature, executive and judiciary. Freedom of Press is seen as a substructure of a democratic society. A free exchange of ideas, the free exchange of knowledge and details, debating and expression of views different from one another is significant for the smooth functioning of democracy. This will empower people to make well-informed decisions. Most importantly, only when there is a swirling of different thoughts and information, people will be able to utilize their rights as a means of questioning the decisions and policies of the government. Such an environment can be created only when there is Freedom of Press. Journalism which was earlier limited only to press now involves even the electronic media. Freedom of press involves freedom of writing, printing, drawing, pictures, film, movie, word of mouth etc. It includes within its ambit the freedom of communication & the right to express one’s opinion.

Historical Background

Prior to independence, Indian Press had faced several restrictions. Acts like the Indian Press Act, 1910 & Indian Press (Emergency) Act, 1931 resulted in blatant violation of the freedom of Press. At the time of the Second World War, the conditions became worse and post-independence, there were fundamental changes in the outlook towards freedom of Press.

Legislative Provisions

The Relation Between Freedom of Press and Right to Privacy

The right to privacy emerges from natural rights, which are basic, intrinsic and inalienable rights. Article 21 which talks about the Right to life and guarantees the Right to privacy impliedly. Media has traversed its limits of fair reporting, specifically in cases sub-judice.


Giving due regards to the fact that there is an abuse of freedom of Press is important as it cannot be rejected that freedom of Press is the inalienable part of the smooth functioning of democracy. It is the obligation of the government as well as journalists to guard the freedom of Press. There is a requirement to come up with more legislative provisions and protective mechanisms that focus on the attainment of the freedom of Press.

“Oil may run out, liquidity may dry up, but as long as the ink flows freely, the next chapter of Life will continue to be written."


Amol Verma, is currently studying Law at CNLU, Patna.

You can contact them at- https://www.linkedin.com/in/amol-verma-34606117a/

Editor: Jayant Upadhyay

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