A writer should have free play with words, like a painter has it with colours-SC

September 05, 2018

If books are banned on such allegations, there can be no creativity. Such interference by constitutional courts will cause the death of art. True it is, the freedom enjoyed by an author is not absolute, but before imposition of any restriction, the duty of the Court is to see whether there is really something that comes within the ambit and sweep of Article 19(2) of the Constitution.

A writer should have free play with words, like a painter has it with colours. The passion of imagination cannot be directed. True it is, the final publication must not run counter to law but the application of the rigours of law has to also remain alive to the various aspects that have been accepted by the authorities of the Court. The craftsmanship of a writer deserves respect by acceptation of the concept of objective perceptibility.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 904 OF 2018

N. Radhakrishnan @ Radhakrishnan Varenickal VS Union of India and others 

Decided on : September 05, 2018

A writer or an author, while choosing a mode of expression, be it a novel or a novella, an epic or an anthology of poems, a play or a playlet, a short story or a long one, an essay or a statement of description or, for that matter, some other form, has the right to exercise his liberty to the fullest unless it falls foul of any prescribed law that is constitutionally valid. It is because freedom of expression is extremely dear to a civilized society. It holds it close to its heart and would abhorrently look at any step taken to create even the slightest concavity in the said freedom. It may be noted here that we are in this writ petition, preferred under Article 32 of the Constitution, dealing with creativity and
its impact and further considering the prayer for banning a book on the foundation that a part of it is indecent and offends the sentiments of women of a particular faith. Having said this, we would like to refer to two authorities highlighting the importance
of creativity and necessity of freedom of expression and how the principle of pragmatic realism assures the said creative independence as civilization, indubitably a progressive one, perceives and eagerly desires for its accentuated protection, nourishment and constant fostering. It is so because curtailment of an author’s right to freedom of expression is a matter of serious concern. Read the full judgment