Searchlight Cases

Due to my sheer inability to stay with my study material for tomorrow's exam, I shall over here outline some of the famous Searchlight cases in Indian press Laws, which might also be asked in tomorrows paper.

Searchlight Case 1:
In 1954 the editor of Searchlight (M.S.M Sharma) a newspaper in Patna went to the proceedings of the Bihar Legislative Assembly. There a particular MP went on with a string of invectives and abuses. As the entire episode ended the Speaker declared that this incident must be removed from records and that this cannot be published.
The editor of Searchlight went and published the entire event word to word in the paper the next day.

The Speaker sent him a show cause notice asking him to appear and give a reason as to why not to prosecute him for violating the law which allows the Speaker Supreme authority in the House.

The editor in turn moved the court under art 32 saying that he had the Freedom of Speech (art. 19 (1) a) and that was his fundamental right which was inviolable and the speakers order was curbing this right.

However the high court ruled in favour of the Speaker, after which he went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Courth issued a statement saying that the speaker is the law in the House and his law has to be obeyed on any material got from the House.
This was a landmark decision where the Government's Privileges were challenged. The ruling was in favor of the government.
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Article edited on 11/1/09

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