Free Speech

Free speech in the courts: legal outcomes in 2016

BY SEVANTI NINAN| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |30/12/2016

Sedition, defamation, censorship, internet shutdowns—the year saw the courts being tested on a range of freedom of expression issues.

 

A new effort to reform defamation

BY PRASHANT REDDY THIKKAVARAPU| IN DEFAMATION |25/09/2016

A private member’s bill by a BJD MP seeks to repeal the criminal defamation law and codify civil defamation. The Hoot has a copy of this media-friendly bill.

 

Despite the Supreme Court

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |15/09/2016

How does an SC clarification on sedition percolate to lower court judges  actually hearing these cases? It evidently does not. Despite this SC observation last week that criticizing the govt is not sedition, a Kashmiri youth jailed in Durg in Chhattisgarh has been denied bail today, for a second time...

 

Sedition goes viral

BY SIDDHARTH NARRAIN and GEETA SESHU| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |19/08/2016

Is most free speech becoming seditious because the law is being applied so casually, without the care that is meant to be exercised?

 

AP’s political media yells ‘free speech’

BY PADMAJA SHAW| IN REGIONAL MEDIA |24/06/2016

Telugu media houses flaunt their political affiliations and function as the assault teams of the main parties while professing ‘fearless journalism’.

 

Free speech verdicts good, logic bad

BY PRASHANT REDDY THIKKAVARAPU| IN JUDGEMENTS |25/07/2016

In their Udta Punjab and Perumal Murugan rulings, the courts missed an opportunity to lay down some fundamental principles.

 

HRW: Govt urged to stop treating critics as criminals

IN SPECIAL REPORTS |25/05/2016

The Indian government should repeal or amend both recent and colonial era laws that are used to criminalize peaceful expression.

 

Awful reasoning and tortuous verbosity

BY PRASHANT REDDY THIKKAVARAPU| IN JUDGEMENTS |17/05/2016

The central flaw in Justice Dipak Misra’s criminal defamation ruling is equating right to reputation with right to free speech as a fundamental right. ??

 

Maharashtra leads in free speech violations

BY NANDITA JHA| IN SPECIAL REPORTS |21/01/2016

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the states which registered the most free speech related cases in 2015.

 

Guardians of the law attack free speech

BY PRASHANT REDDY THIKKAVARAPU| IN CENSORSHIP |16/11/2015

Between the state and some high courts, free speech is constantly under attack. The Assam Rifles order is only the latest in a string of diktats.

 

Raising the threshold for defamation

BY PRASHANT REDDY THIKKAVARAPU| IN DEFAMATION |03/10/2015

A new court order in a defamation case finally tilts the balance slightly in favour of journalists and bloggers and against powerful corporations.

 

Thin line between free and seditious speech?

BY GEETA SESHU| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |06/09/2015

The Maharashtra guidelines ignore the SC distinction and bring elected representatives and government officers within the ambit of sedition.

 

Defamation cases multiply

BY NANDITA JHA| IN DEFAMATION |27/08/2015

Defamation cases against the media are being filed thick and fast in 2015, with the pace picking up as the year wears on.

 

Can free speech be stretched horizontally?

BY APARAJITA LATH| IN CENSORSHIP |17/04/2015

The fracas over the publication of an e-zine by students of St Stephen's College tests the elasticity of freedom of speech.

 

Free speech, religiosity and Urdu press

IN MEDIA PRACTICE |09/02/2015

"I want to ask the English media, should the community not have gone to the police station? Not adopted a democratic approach?" A month after the Hebdo killings and its repercussions here with the Shirin Dalvi case,

 

Should the freedom to react be absolute?

BY Geeta Seshu| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |30/01/2015

Shirin Dalvi, the editor of Urdu newspaper Avadhnama, was arrested in Mumbai for publishing a cartoon of the Charlie Hebdo cover.

 

No escaping the surveillance state?

BY SOFTWARE FREEDOM LAW CENTRE| IN DEFAMATION |04/09/2014

Indians are routinely subjected to government surveillance on a staggering scale -7500 to 9000 telephone interception orders by the Central Government each month!

 

How to make dissent 'anti-national'

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |17/06/2014

Selective witch-hunting by those in power against those who challenge this power will result in the clamping down of all expression of dissent.

 

The writer and publisher: no holy marriage this!

BY MURZBAN SHROFF| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |21/02/2014

When a writer is attacked or hauled to court, who really stays on for the good fight?

 

Of 'chicken' publishers and repressive laws

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |16/02/2014

Give up publisher's rights to publish to a general public and revise Sec 153 A and 295 A of the IPC to protect academic and artistic freedom

 

'I will stand by freedom of speech'

IN DIGITAL MEDIA |14/08/2013

A well-known dalit writer is arrested for a facebook post on the suspension of IAS officer Durga Nagpal and the demolition of a madrassa.

 

Shameful gag order on Islamic scholar

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |31/07/2013

The manner in which Madras University caved in and withdrew its invitation to Islamic and women's rights scholar Amina Wadud was shameful,

 

FREE SPEECH GALLERY 2012

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |02/01/2013

Death. Attacks. Arrests. Censorship. Curbs on online media.

 

Laws we no longer need

IN LAW AND POLICY |12/09/2012

The arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has served to focus attention on the issue of holding a modernizing democracy hostage to colonial laws.

 

L'affaire Rushdie and free speech - Part III

IN CENSORSHIP |02/02/2012

While the dust has settled over 'the Ghost who (didn't) walk' in Jaipur, the debate over whether the entire episode destroyed or protected freedom of expression rages on.

 

L'affaire Rushdie and free speech - Part II

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |02/02/2012

While the dust has settled over 'the Ghost who (didn't) walk' in Jaipur, the debate over whether the entire episode destroyed or protected freedom of expression rages on.

 

L'affaire Rushdie and free speech - Part I

IN CENSORSHIP |31/01/2012

While the dust has settled over 'the Ghost who (didn't) walk' in Jaipur, the debate over whether the entire episode destroyed or protected freedom of expression rages on.

 

Free Speech: look beyond content

BY Padmaja Shaw| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |18/12/2011

An analysis of the raging Free Speech debate in India points to a flaw: while all eyes are on the content, there is little focus on the media ownership pattern.

 

The Khushboo case fallout

BY V Geetha| IN MEDIA FREEDOM |01/04/2010

When women’s groups protested the misogynistic rancour directed at Khushboo, they did so in defense of her right to free speech; and to insist that frank opinions on sexuality not be proscribed by self-appointed morality cops.

 

Revisiting defamation: the demand for decriminalisation

IN DEFAMATION |26/02/2011

The law of criminal defamation has several ramifications, affecting the right to privacy and contempt too.

 

No criminal proceedings against writer Murzban Shroff

IN JUDGEMENTS |01/08/2010

There are no grounds for criminal proceedings against short story writer Murzban Shroff on allegations of spreading communal harmony,

 

Book bans: Tale of three books

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |01/08/2010

Judicial pronouncements in three recent cases on book bans and curbs on books for allegedly causing enmity or communal disharmony have upheld freedom of expression in different ways,

 

Supreme Court lifts ban on Laine book

IN JUDGEMENTS |01/08/2010

Upholding the judgement of the Bombay High Court that the Maharashtra government could not establish which groups would suffer enmity by the publication of James Laine's book on Shivaji,

 

Freedom of expression important, yet ban is justified

IN JUDGEMENTS |15/07/2010

The Bombay High Court justified a ban on the book, "Islam – A concept of Political World Invasion

 

Contempt punishment to Arundhati Roy ‘black spot in judicial history’

IN JUDGEMENTS |15/06/2010

Judicial accountability and the untrammelled powers of the judiciary to punish those who commit contempt of court can lead to a dangerous abuse of power,

 

Sikkim publisher faces criminal charge

IN MEDIA FREEDOM |01/01/2002

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ET reports that the Congress party will  have a hyperlocal social media strategy for the forthcoming state elections. It says the Congress social media cell has "identified block level social media warriors" who will give feedback on community level issues to the party's social media  war room. Such as which local temples  with a particular caste following the Congress state unit chief should visit, or in which areas farm loan waiver schemes are going badly, giving the Congress an issue to raise.                    

Doordarshan interviewed  two BJP ministers in the afternoon about what they thought of Rahul Gandhi's speech during the no-trust motion, and why BJP MPs had felt the need to come outside Parliament and attack him. Ministers of state Ashwini Chaubey and Ram Kirpal Yadav answered at considerable length and were allowed to have their say. The reporter also asked one of them what he thought about RG's hugging the PM and he effectively snorted in disapproval. When a panel discussion began after this,  more leading questions from the news anchor about this 'jadu ki jhappi."  And more criticism followed.                        

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