Morality of Constitutional Tort

Needless to say, no one can either be taxed or penalized for holding an opinion which is not in conformity with constitutional values. It is only when an opinion gets translated into action and such action results in injury or harm or loss, an action in tort will lie.  

Courts cannot turn a blind eye but may have to imaginatively fashion…

Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Kaushal Kishor v. State of Uttar Pradesh, [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 113 of 2016].

While I agree with reasoning and conclusions, I wish to lend a different perspective. This discourse in no way seeks to pose a potential danger to peaceful dissenters, who exercise their right in a measured fashion. Every right has a complex internal structure and object is to warn about nature of product. It may be appropriate to sound a strong word of warning.

In present case, we are concerned with derogatory, vitriolic and disparaging speech. Charu Khurana v. Union of India, (2015) 1 SCC 192 declared, dignity as a part of Article 21 has its own significance. It is a no brainer, right to freedom speech and expression does not protect statements which strike at dignity.  

A constitutional tort seeks to redress a harm or injury by awarding monetary compensation. Article 21 has played a significant role in shaping law on tortious liability of a Government. However, a doubt has been cast on its effectiveness…

Hon’ble Justice B.V. Nagarathna, Kaushal Kishor v. State of Uttar Pradesh, [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 113 of 2016].