Day 1 Arguments

Azam Khan – Freedom of Speech and Expression

August 29th 2016


Today, the Supreme Court expressed disapproval on the comments made by Azam Khan regarding a gang rape being an outcome of a political conspiracy. A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and C. Nagappan framed the following questions with regards to the scope of free speech under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.

(a) Whether an individual holding a public office can make such comment on crimes?

(b) Whether comments which potentially create doubt in the mind of the victim about a fair investigation can be allowed by the State?

(c) Whether the statement is protected by the Right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a)?

(d) Whether such comments defeat the concept of constitutional compassion and constitutional sensitivity?

The court stayed the investigation in the case. It also asked Mr. Azam Khan and the government for their reply regarding the plea to transfer the investigation of the case outside the state. Mr. Fali S Nariman was appointed as Amicus Curiae.