‘Right to Life Cannot Be Invaded Under The Garb Of Freedom Of Speech’ : Karnataka HC Convicts Reporter & Editor For Defamation
Observing that the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot be invaded under the garb of freedom of speech and expression, the Karnataka High Court has reversed the acquittal of a reporter and an editor of a magazine for criminal defamation.
A single bench of Justice M G Uma, while convicting an editor and reporter of ‘Kadala Koogu’ (a weekly magazine) under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) said: “Right to Life includes life with human dignity and reputation. This right of a citizen is very precious and recognized as fundamental under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It cannot be invaded under the garb of freedom of speech and expression. Even though the freedom of speech and expression is recognised as a right under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, it is not an absolute right but is subject to reasonable restrictions.”