Know now what does it mean to be free to express oneself?

S Venkateshwari
Know now what does it mean to be free to express oneself?

People frequently discuss freedom of expression after making divisive speeches. Article 19 of the indian Constitution defines freedom of expression as the ability to voice one's opinions both orally and in writing. In other words, everyone in the country is granted total freedom to write and speak thanks to the Constitution. However, this does not give anyone the right to say anything divisive or unpleasant.

The indian Constitution states in Article 19(2)(6) that the right to freedom of expression is not unqualified. This indicates that there are certain restrictions on this right. It is not acceptable to write or say anything offensive. No person, regardless of caste or religion, has the right to speak negatively against another community under the pretext of freedom of speech. "Any written, spoken word or gesture which by seeing or hearing creates fear or encourages violence is hate speech," the Law Commission declared in its 267th report from 2017.

What penalty exists for using hate speech?

A case is filed under IPC sections 153A and 153AA for making provocative comments. Section 505 is added in certain instances. The accused may receive a term of three years in prison, a fine, or both under Section 153A. A provocative speech made in a religious setting or gathering may result in a five-year prison sentence.

As to Section 1 of Section 505, it is illegal to encourage hatred towards any other community. The accused data-faces a maximum three-year prison sentence for disturbing the peace. A complaint is filed in accordance with section 505(2) of the IPC when a statement is made that fosters animosity or hatred between two populations. Section 505(3) provides for a five-year prison sentence if any of these two offenses are committed in a place of worship or other meeting place.

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