In a landmark judgement Supreme Court ruled internet as integral part of fundamental right to speech and expression. What is Judicial Review?

Can you imagine a day without internet in this technology driven world? Just the thought seems like fish out of water.

Jammu and Kashmir is without internet for over 150 days now. On August 5th central government abrogated article 370, imposed section 144 and blocked internet and mobile services in J&K.

After abrogation of article 370, people filed petitions challenging the internet shutdown and imposition of section 144 curbing movement in J&K.

‘Internet’ is an integral part of the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression (Article 19 (1)), ruled Supreme Court on January 10, 2020, in a landmark judgement.

Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai gave the ruling and asked the government to review internet curbs in J&K and restore services in a week’s time.

With the Citizenship Amendment Act, protest against the CAA is  staged across the country. Government had imposed restrictions under section 144 and banned internet in many places. Court said that all the such impositions should be made available in the public forum. Earlier this was not the case and hence it could not be challenged in the court. Suspension orders are always subject to Judicial Review.

What is Judicial Review?

Judicial Review is the power of the Judiciary to declare any law passed by the legislature or an executive order as void if it is against the provisions of the Constitution.

Judiciary cannot exercise this power on its own. An individual have to appeal to the court or complain to the court that his/her fundamental right is violated by the law passed by the legislature or an executive order. Then the court will decide whether that law is constitutional or unconstitutional.

This power of the court to declare an order or law as unconstitutional is called Judicial Review.

Article 19 of Constitution of India

Article 19 guarantees ‘seven freedoms’ under the Constitution of India. They are

19(1) All citizens shall have the right-

a. to freedom of speech and expression

b. to assemble peaceably and without arms

c. to form associations or unions move freely throughout the territory of India

e. to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India

g. to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.


Void:Not valid or legally binding.

Unconstitutional: Not in accordance with the political constitution or with procedural rules.

Abrogation: To repeal or abolition of a law, right, or agreement.


Find out which countries do not provide the basic freedom of speech and expression? Do leave a comment on the same.

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