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Does Contempt Conviction Threaten Free Speech In India?

Samriddhi Bammidi & Priya Kumari, MNLU Aurangabad


India is a country which is known for its democratic values. Freedom of speech and expression is a sine qua non for democracy. However, today, there are various tools which are used by the government or other institutions to curtail the use of this right and contempt of court is the foremost among them. It is one of the restrictions that can act as a rider on the fundamental right of people to freely express their views. It is a strange concept where the presiding judge performs the role of the complainant, the prosecutor as well as a judge which is a vestige of feudalism. In India, the origin of this doctrine dates back to the time when India was ruled by the East India Company. Britishers went from India but their effect on the laws and provisions of India are still witnessed today and the provision of contempt of court is an example of that. On one hand where England itself has repealed the law relating to contempt of court in their country, India is following the same even today. Now, it is time for India to revise this law taking into consideration its repercussions on the fundamental rights of people. The courts perform an important role in our country as a custodian of the Constitution. It is not expected from the custodian itself to show its reluctance to the expression of dissents over the verdicts delivered by it. This reluctance will itself amount to depress the dignity of the court and result into an impression that the shoulders of the courts are too fragile to shrug off the dissent.

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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