SC resumes hearing on whether persons holding public offices have more restrictions on free speech

Supreme Court on Tuesday clearly stated that it cannot restrict a minister from stating any statement. It is his right to speak and that is the voice of opposition. The controversy sparked after political leader Azam Khan gave a statement on Bulandshahar rape case in which he said that the rape was a political conspiracy and nothing else. Against this statement, the petition was filed in Supreme Court on which taking a note court clearly stated that the person who holds a public office right from the day he takes the oath he is bound by the constitutional ethics and code of conduct that are present in the constitution, but there is no sequitur when code of conduct is violated.  

The Constitutional bench consisting of Justice Arun Misra, Vineet Saran, Indira Banarjee, M.R. Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat has put forward there views that statement made by the minister can be defamatory but it will not affect any trial in the court, further, it also elaborated that putting restrictions on  Article 19(2) cannot be done but it is the duty of the states and center to make code of conducts and legislation in this regard and if this is violated then only the court can take cognizance on it.

In addition to the question regarding code of conduct in UK and Canada where ministers have code of conduct regarding the statement, they issued in public on which Justice Mishra said that as there is nothing said regarding code of conduct in India But that does not mean that it can overtake Article 21 of the Constitution and other basic rights. He also stated that the code of conduct is not narrow but encompasses Article 141 and he also added by saying that the court will not legislate any issue where code of conduct is enough to make balance. The Court also clarified that if a right exists the Court can step in if there is a gap the court cannot make legislation regarding it, Code of conduct and RPA Act are not narrow but there scope is wider. The Court also gave an example that if a minister states any statement in the cabinet than it is binding on him but if he speaks any rampant statement than in that case if there is an action then it is a matter of concern.