The past few weeks have been the most polarising in recent memory with regard to freedom of expression norms. FIRs were registered against students for stating their political opinions even as political leaders actively indulged in hate speech.
This brings into focus the tug-of-war between morality and state security, freedom and responsibility. Should statements by civil society and politicians be made chargeable offences or should our idea of free speech expand to accommodate the full range of our society’s political opinion? Freedom of expression is enshrined under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution with safeguards outlined in 19 (2). Do these safeguards need to be brought under review today?
Discussing the issue are Abhinav Chandrachud (Author and Bombay High Court advocate) and Mihira Sood (Supreme Court lawyer).