Brij Bhushan vs State of Delhi - RSS Publication Organizer Pre Censorship Case

Brij Bhushan vs State of Delhi - RSS Publication Organizer Pre Censorship Case

Brij Bhushan And Another vs The State Of Delhi 
Equivalent citations: 1950 AIR 129, 1950 SCR 605 
Author: S Fazal Ali Bench: Fazal Ali, Saiyid 

PETITIONER: BRIJ BHUSHAN AND ANOTHER 
Vs. 
RESPONDENT: THE STATE OF DELHI. 
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 26/05/1950 

BENCH: FAZAL ALI, SAIYID BENCH: FAZAL ALI, SAIYID KANIA, HIRALAL J. (CJ) SASTRI, M. PATANJALI MAHAJAN, MEHR CHAND DAS, SUDHI RANJAN MUKHERJEA, B.K.

The imposition of censorship on a journal previous to its publication would amount to an infringement of Article 19(1)(a). The question of validity of censorship came up for consideration in the case the Chief Commissioner of Delhi, in pursuance of Section 7 of the East Punjab Safety Act, 1949, as application in Delhi, issued an order against the printer, publisher, editor of an English Weekly of Delhi, called the Organizer, directing them to submit for scrutiny in duplicate before publication till further orders, all communal matters and news and views about Pakistan including photographs and cartoons other than those derived from official sources or supplied by the news agencies. Supreme Court struck down the order, observing "...... the imposition of pre-censorship of a journal is a restriction on the liberty of the press which is an essential part of the freedom of the speech and expression declared by Article 19(1)(a)." Similarly, prohibiting newspaper from publication of its own views or the views of correspondents about the burning topic of the day is a serious encroachment on the valuable right of the freedom of speech and expression.

This case was decided along with Romesh Thapar vs State of Madras and reasoning of the case of Braj Bhushan Sharma was given in Romesh Thapar case and vice versa. Both of these cases were decided by the Supreme Court of India sitting en banc and on the same day. Braj Bhushan Sharma case was about the pre-censorship while Romesh Thapar case was about the restriction of circulation and entry of magazine crossroad in Madras state. These cases were landmark cases of Freedom of Press and Speech / Expression. Effect of these rulings were overcome by the 1st amendment of Indian Constitution.

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