Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts



  • In this case, the constitutionality of Sections 326-A to 326-J of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 (4 of 1919) and the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003 (in short "Advertisement Rules") were challenged in the High Court via writ petitions. 

  • The writ petitions were dismissed by the High Court.

  • Unauthorized hoardings were ordered to be removed by the authorities responsible.

  • It was made clear that no licences would be issued or renewed for any hoarding that did not comply with the rules of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 (4 of 1919) and the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003.

  • In the city of Chennai, a committee was formed to monitor the process of removing illegal and unauthorised hoardings.

  • The authorities were ordered to dismantle and demolish all hoardings placed on or in front of any historical or aesthetical landmarks, popular places of worship, educational institutions, and hospitals, as well as any other structures designated by the committee.

  • It was further ordered that no Civil Court should hear any action opposing the destruction or removal of the unlawful hoardings and that any writ petitions opposing the destruction be filed with the High Court's Chief Justice's Bench.

  • The current appeals and writ petitions challenged (attacked) the High Court's above-mentioned decision. 

  • The Advertisement Rules were said to be in violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. It was also argued that the rules were in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution since private and public hoardings were handled similarly, thereby treating unequal as equals.

  • It was argued that the hoardings were nothing more than advertising material and that even if the requirements were accepted to be regulatory for the sake of argument, they had to be relevant to the boundaries of Article 19(2). As a result of the rules, the use of private land for advertising has been restricted.

  • It was argued that Article 19(1)(a) allowed for the display of information on hoardings, whether commercial, political, or social, and that no restrictions could be placed on the right to disseminate information on the pretext of preventing obstruction or hazard to traffic movement, which was not covered by Article 19(2) because public order was not affected.

  • It was pointed out that allowing hoardings of political groups that were more dangerous was an unsustainable discriminating policy. Authorities were allowed unguided power to adopt alternative rules and a separate yardstick was being used.

  • Furthermore, it was claimed that the Advertisement Rules utilised the term "obstruction" to refer to bodily obstruction. Rule 6 and Rule 10 of the Advertisement Rules were also challenged. The right to regulate being exercised in this instance was claimed to be restricted rather than regulatory.

  • The Supreme Court dismissed the writ petitions and appeals, held, Tthe permissible legislative abridgement of the right to free speech and expression has been set very narrow and stringently, owing to the realisation that freedom of speech and of the press lay at the foundation of all democratic organisations, because without free political discussion, no public education, which is so important for the proper functioning of popular processes, would be possible.

  • In the present case, the relevant provisions appear to be not restrictive but are regulatory. There is no ban on advertisement hoardings but obstructive and destructive ones are to be prohibited. Advertisement is not regulated by the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 (4 of 1919) or the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003. They prohibit the erection of any hoarding that is deemed to be unpleasant, damaging, or disruptive. It is impossible to claim that freedom of speech has been violated. The statute's content, impact, and purpose all indicate that it was not meant to be that way.

  • Hoarding licences are required in both public and private venues under the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 (4 of 1919).

  • In terms of public spaces, the State has complete authority to control them since they are vested in the State as a trustee for the public. The state has the authority to impose such restrictions on users of public spaces as are required to safeguard the general public.

  • The District Collector is empowered under Section 326-J of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 (4 of 1919) to prohibit the erection of hazardous hoardings and hoardings that are hazardous and disrupt safe traffic movement thus adversely affect the free and safe flow of traffic. The power granted by Section 326-J is not capricious. Any action taken under Section 326-J must be based on natural justice principles and backed up by evidence. Under Section 326-H, a District Collector's order for action under Section 326-J can be appealed to the State Government. There can't be a presumption of power abuse just because a public entity has a choice over how it exercises its power. 

  • Rule 6 of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003 imposed restrictions on the size, height, spacing, and other limits on hoardings, as well as the requirement that they are erected on steel frames.

  • Rule 10 of the 2003 Rules prohibits hoardings from being placed in specific locations, including educational institutions, places of worship, hospitals, road corners, and in front of historical and aesthetic landmarks. As a result, the ability to licence is limited and directed by the factors mentioned above.

  • The refusal to award or renew licences can be appealed to the State Government under Rule 11 of the 2003 Rules.

  • In the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003, the term "obstruction" refers to any conduct that obstructs the free and safe passage of traffic, pedestrians, and automobiles. However, it has a wide range of meanings and isn't always limited to physical impediments. If the subject matter shown in such hoardings draws the attention of drivers of vehicles and, as a result, obstructs free and safe traffic movement, such a hoarding would plainly fall under the definition of "obstruction foreseen under Rule 3 of the Act."

  • Rule 3 of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003 does not limit or govern the extent of Section 326-J of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 (4 of 1919), which works on a larger scale.

  • On failure to obtain a no-objection certificate in accordance with Rule 3(iii) would disqualify an applicant for a licence to erect a hoarding in and of itself, Section 326-J prohibits the erection of hazardous hoardings and directs the Commissioner (now District Collector) not to issue any licence under Section 326-C in respect of such hoardings. It also empowers the Commissioner to order the confiscation and removal of any hoardings built in violation of the mandate contained therein.


  1. Whether the provisions of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act,1919, and the Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Licensing of Hoardings and Levy and Collection of Advertisement Tax) Rules, 2003, alleging that they were in violation of Article 19(1)(a) and Article 14 because private and public hoardings were treated equally, effectively treating unequal as equals.

  2. Whether the legislation that restricted private land use and that display of information on hoardings, whether commercial, political, or social, was permissible under Article 19(1)(a). 

  3. Whether the right to transmit information could not be restricted on the pretext of preventing hindrance or hazard to traffic flow, and the law was not protected by Article 19(2) since public order was not harmed.

Important citations 

Sagir Ahmad v. State of U.P., AIR 1954 SC 728 1 SCR707

In this case, the Court concluded in this decision that the state has complete control over public areas because they are vested in the state as trustee for the public. The state has the authority to impose such restrictions on users of public spaces as are required to safeguard the general public.

P. Narayana Bhat v. State of T.N., (2001) 4 SCC 554 

In this case, the Court held that there can't be a presumption of power abuse just because a public authority has a choice over how it exercises or uses its power.

ITW Signode India Ltd. v. CCE

In this case, the Court concluded in this decision that in the event of a disagreement between a substantive Act and delegated legislation, the former will win since delegated legislation must be understood in the context of the primary/legislative Act and not vice versa.

Hinchliffe v. Sheldon (1955) 1 WLR 1203

In this case, the Court concluded in this decision that “obstructing” the police encompasses anything that makes it more difficult for the officers to carry out their responsibilities and is not limited to physical impediments.


Bench: Dr. Arijit Pasayat, S.H. Kapadia

The Supreme Court of India held:

  • that, while very narrow and stringent limits had been set for permissible legislative abridgment of the right to free speech and expression, the challenged provisions were regulatory rather than restrictive - there was no ban on advertisements or hoardings, but obstructive and destructive ones were to be prohibited;

  • that the State has complete authority to regulate public spaces because they vest in the State as trustees for the public, and the State can impose such restrictions on public place users as may be required to safeguard the public as a whole.

  • that hoardings placed on private property must be registered and controlled since they frequently abut and are visible on public roadways and public spaces.

  • that hoardings constructed on private buildings may restrict public highways, be unsafe to the building and the public, be hazardous and harmful to the smooth flow of traffic by distracting cars and include obscene or unpleasant content.

  • that the fact that the hoarding is on private property does not excuse the government from enforcing hoarding regulations.

  • As a result, the Supreme Court determined that it is incorrect to assert that hoardings on private property are not subject to licencing requirements.


Hence, there is no logic in completely excluding private land, state government territory, or land owned by the federal government, such as the railways. The decision to give a licence or not is still up to the municipal corporation, and any breach of the limits set might still result in an application. It went on to say that such exclusion of lands amounted to prohibition and that such restrictions infringe on the basic rights of private landowners to enjoy their properties if a permit for hoardings could be given.


The article is written by Sneha Mahawar, a  law student at Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies. This article discusses the right to put hoardings as a constitutional right in accordance with the laws of municipal corporations. It further enhances the case law of Novva Ads vs. Secretary, Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply, and Another. 

The `positive' sense of the word `liberty' derives from the wish on the part of the individual to be his own master. [1] In pluralistic society, socio-political justice is conceived as people having different views, morals, values, and the purpose of life which needs to co-exist within a broad framework of legal protections. According to Immanuel Kant, the role of the government was to protect freedom and that people should be left to pursue their own ends as long as they do not harm the freedom of others. [2] Similarly, in “On Liberty”, J.S. Mill [3] insists that one's liberty holds more significance than protecting people from themselves. He argued that interference with liberty can only be justified when it is restricted to prevent harm to others. [4]                                        

Justice Benjamin Cardozo’s statement that “every adult human being of sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body.”[5] He did not comment on the quality of the decision i.e. whether it is a “good” decision or a “bad” decision rather emphasized the individual’s right to make that decision. Similarly, Isaiah Berlin writes “I am the possessor of reason and will; I conceive ends and I desire to pursue them; but if I am prevented from attaining them I no longer feel master of the situation.”[6] Therefore the question arises what is the limit of paternalistic laws? Who should define my liberty?  Whether I remain the owner of my choices anymore or not?

Liberals believe that, as long as a rational human being is not causing harm to others, they should be free to act in any way they choose, even if their acts harm themselves whereas utilitarian argues that if by making legislation brings about the greatest overall utility, then such legislation is justified. [7]

Exemption from wearing a helmet granted to pillion riders was set aside by the Kerala High Court in 2019.[8] Likewise, Supreme Court Committee has also emphasised on strict implementation of helmet rules in the Union Territory of Puducherry.[9] According to Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, it is mandatory to wear helmets as per Indian Standards while riding. Legislation for compulsory helmets can be done in the name of utility i.e. helmets reduce head injuries, therefore harm caused may be considered to outweigh relative rarity. Thus, a policy that reduces such injuries gives its impact on the overall utility level.[10] Ronald Dworkin[11] thinks paternalism can be justified in cases where a person makes a decision that imposes significant risk which they would not make in a rational and informed state of mind. But, is the person who decides whether or not to wear a helmet, not taking this decision in an informed state?  Is his decision not a rational person’s decision? What are the criteria to demarcate the same?

In 2019, the top Federal Administrative Court of Germany held that a Sikh person is not exempted from wearing a helmet by citing religious practices. The Court ruled that one’s liberty to practice his religion is not hampered by complying with an obligation to wear a helmet. Even it went on to say that one must forego motorcycling if one wants to comply with his religious requirement to wear a turban. It was also noted that not wearing a helmet has an impact on the legally protected rights of third-party by explaining that not wearing a helmet, affects the physical as well as psychological interests of rescuers and other accident participants. [12] At first glance, so-called “harm” may seem to be a strong argument, however, its major premise needs to be qualified. Society is so highly intertwined, that it is hard to justify that an act causes no harm to others. For instance when one gets injured while not wearing a helmet in a motor vehicle accident, it can be argued that in addition to the harm caused to that person alone, it also caused harm to his loved ones, it negatively impacted innumerable others, as the cost of medical and police services that would be required by taxpayer’s money. In short, one’s actions frequently impact others, whether directly or indirectlyor remotely, and it could be argued that almost all acts influence others unless one lives and dies as a hermit.

Therefore, all self-harm will virtually cause harm to others too. Hence virtually every corner of life could be regulated by law. This should not be done as not all harm to others is wrong and not all wrongful harm could be regularised.  If the law starts prohibiting such indirect harm, that would not only include helmet laws but also dangerous sports, unhealthy lifestyles, eating junk foods, bungee jumping, etc. that is, virtually every corner of life on this logic will come in the domain of being regulated by the State. 

Paternalistic laws may be permissible if it is not taking any important right. The right not to wear helmets may seem not an important right. However, conceptually, the right not to wear helmets is part of a more important right to determine how much risk to take with one’s health. [13] Of course, there may be a limit to allow risk over one’s health but then who decides that threshold, and what should be the threshold? Some would argue that a threshold beyond which the risks with one's own health becomes too great can be made justifiable. But this again is a debatable area.

From a normative point of view, many egalitarian and liberal accounts of justice would regard any attempt to force people to bear the costs of their health-affecting behaviour as a moral travesty. Luck egalitarians would defend the idea that costs ought to be borne by those who voluntarily chose to engage in them.[14] Thus, if riders are going to be forced to take fewer risks, then, in the name of consistency and fairness, everyone ought to be required to reduce the comparable risks they run in other aspects of their lives. For example skateboarders, skydivers, and even pedestrians are required to wear helmets too. In fact, by extension, people can be forced to wear spine protectors and other protective devices too.

However, there are certain situations where the costs to an individual’s liberty are trivial as compared to other values, such as health which can be protected by restricting liberty. Liberty is an essential value, but it’s not the ‘only’ value. It follows that upholding the autonomy principle absolute does not force one to condemn all paternalism. So, it depends on your rational thinking whether you want to justify paternalistic law on helmets as a matter of efficient public policy or curtailment of your liberty. The helmet lies on your head.


[1] Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” Four Essays on Liberty, Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 118-172.

[2] Susan Meld Shell, “Kant and the Limits of Autonomy”, Harvard University Press, 2009

[3] J.S. Mill, “On Liberty,” London: Longman, 1998

[4] Bruce Baum, "J. S. Mill on Freedom and Power." Polity 31, no. 2 (1998): 187-216

[5] Schoendorff v. Society of New York Hosp., 105 N.E. 92, 93 (N.Y.1914)

[6] Supra note 1

[7] Piers Norris Turner, “‘Harm’ and Mill’s Harm Principle.” Ethics, vol. 124, no. 2, 2014, pp. 299–326, available  Accessed 4 May 2021.

[8]George John and Ravindran T.U. v The Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, WP(C).No.25181 of 2010(S)

[9]S. Prasad, SC Panel wants helmet rule enforced. The Hindu, February 27, 2019, available at

[10] C. Hooper, J. Spicer, “Liberty or death; don't tread on me,” Journal of Medical Ethics 2012; 38: 338-341.

[11]Paternalism and Irrationality, May 2017, 2010 available at

[12]German Court: Sikhs have to wear helmets on motorbikes, July 7, 2019, available at

[13] Michael N. Goldman and Alan H. Goldman, “Paternalistic Laws”, Philosophical Topics, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1990, pp. 65-78, available

[14] Lamont, Julian and Christi Favor, "Distributive Justice", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), available at


The article is written by Sneha Mahawar, a  law student at Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies. The article discusses the important highlights and gives an overview of the Budget 2021-22. 

Introduction of Budget 

As per Article 112 of the Constitution of India, 1949, it requires the government to present to parliament a statement of estimated receipts and expenditure in respect of every financial year- 1st April to 31st March. In our Indian Constitution budget is written as an Annual Financial Statement. It is a spending plan formulated by the government mentioning their expenditure and revenue for a certain time period. 

However, in the general sense, budget is regarded as the amount of money or resources earmarked for a particular institution, activity, or time frame. It is an itemized summary of intended expenditure usually coupled with expected revenue. 

Important highlights of Budget 2021-22

  • On 1st February 2021, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman presented in the Parliament the budget for 2021-22 the financial year starting from 1st April 2021 and ending on 31st March 2022. 

  • While presenting the Union Budget for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Budget proposals for this financial year rest on six pillars- Health and Well-being, Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, and Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. 

  • Moreover, other significant announcements included a slew of hikes in customs duty to benefit Make in India, a proposal to disinvest two more PSBs and a general insurance company, and numerous infrastructure pledges to poll-bound States. The fiscal deficit stands at 9.5% of the GDP and is estimated to be 6.8% in 2021-22. Personal income tax slabs remain as it is.  

  • The budget seeks to reduce the compliance burden on senior citizens who are of 75 years of age and above. Such senior citizens having only pension and interest income will be exempted from filing their income tax returns.  

Six pillars of Budget 2021-22

  1. Health and Wellbeing 

  • In the budget 2021-22 the government announced that PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will be launched with an outlay of about Rs. 64,180 crore over 6 years. This will benefit in developing capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary health care systems. 

  • The primary health care system deals with the health care system at the village level. 

  • The secondary health care system deals with the health care system of the city hospitals. 

  • The tertiary health care system deals with the health care system of the super-specialty hospital such as AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences). 

  • A provision was created of Rs. 35,000 crore for the covid-19 vaccine in Budget estimate 2021-22. 

  • The government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and Poshan Abhiyan and launch Mission POSHAN 2.0.  

  • Poshan Abhiyan targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women, and adolescent girls), and reduce low birth weight. 

  • Supplementary Nutrition Programme is a scheme under which infants were provided with supplementary nutrition. 

  • A Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy was announced to phase out old and unfit vehicles. 

  • The Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy is expected to increase the production and capacity utilisation of vehicles. 

  • The Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy is seen as an attempt by the government to boost automobile demand. 

  • Fitness test has been proposed in automated fitness centres after 20 years in the case of personal vehicles, and after 15 years in the case of commercial vehicles. 

  1. Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure

Roads and Highways Infrastructure

  • More than 13,000 km length of roads, at a cost of Rs. 3.3 lakh crore, has already been awarded under the 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala Pariyojna Project of which 38,000 km has been constructed. 

  • By March 2022, the government would be awarding another 8,500 km and complete an additional 11,000 km of national highway corridors. 

Railway Infrastructure 

  • Indian railways have prepared a National Rail Plan for India- 2030. 

  • The plan is to create a “future-ready” railway system by 2030. 

  • The core strategy to enable “Make in India” is to bring down the logistic costs for our industry. 

  • By June 2022, it is expected that Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) will be commissioned. 

  • Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) starts at Sahnewal (Ludhiana) in Punjab and ends at Dankuni in West Bengal. 

  • Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) is from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai, touching all major ports along the way.  

Urban Infrastructure 

  • The government announced that a new scheme will be launched at a cost of Rs. 18,000 crore to support the augmentation of public bus transport services. 

  • Two new technologies namely, MetroLite and MetroNeo will be deployed to provide metro rail systems at a much lesser cost with the same experience, convenience, and safety in Tier-2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier-1 cities.

Petroleum and Natural Gas increasing 

  • Following key initiatives are being announced:

  • Ujjwala Scheme is a scheme under which women under Below Poverty Line (BPL)are provided free LPG cylinders which have benefitted 8 crore households will be extended to cover 1 crore more beneficiaries. 

  • The government will add 100 more districts in the next 3 years to the City Gas Distribution network. 

  • A gas pipeline project will be taken up in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Insurance Sector

  • It was proposed to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 to increase the permissible FDI limit from 49% to 74% and allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards. 

Disinvestment and Strategic Sale 

  • The Finance Minister said several transactions namely BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachallspat Nigam limited among others would be completed in 2021-22. (Disinvestment)

  • Other than IDBI Bank, Government proposes to take up the privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22. 

  • In 2021-22, the government would also bring the IPO of LIC for which the requisite amendments will be made in the session itself. 

  1. Inclusive Development for Aspirational India


  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime has undergone a sea change to assure a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. 

  • To provide adequate credit to our farmers, the government has enhanced the agricultural credit target to Rs. 16.5 lakh crore in Fiscal Year 2022. 

  • To boost value addition in agriculture and allied products and their exports, the scope of ‘Operation Green Scheme’ that is presently applicable to tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (TOP), will be enlarged to include 22 perishable products. 

Migrant Workers and Labours 

  • The government has launched the One Nation One Ration Card scheme through which beneficiaries can claim their rations anywhere in the country. One Nation One Ration Card plan is under implementation by 32 states and union territories, reaching about 69 crore beneficiaries (86% beneficiaries covered). The remaining 4 states and union territories will be integrated in the next few years. 

  • Government proposes to conclude a process that began 20 years ago, with the implementation of the 4 labour codes. For the first time globally, social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers. 

  1. Reinvigorating Human Capital


  • The Finance Minister said that the National Education Policy (NEP) announced recently has had good reception while adding that more than 15,000 schools will be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy.

  • It was further announced that 100 new Sainik schools will be set up in partnership with NGO’s/private schools/states. 

  • For accessible higher education in Ladakh, the government proposed to set up a Central University in Leh. 

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare 

  • The government has set a target of establishing 750 Eklavya model residential schools in tribal areas with an increase in the unit cost of each such school from Rs. 20 crore to Rs. 38 crore, and for hilly and difficult areas, to Rs. 48 crore. 

  1. Innovation and R&D

  • The government will undertake a new initiative- National Language Translation Mission (NLTM). This will enable the wealth of governance-and-policy-related knowledge on the internet to be made available in major Indian languages. 

  • The New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSU under the department of space will execute the PSLV-CS51 launch, carrying the Amazonia Satellite from Brazil, along with a few smaller Indian satellites. 

  1. Minimum Government and Maximum Governance

  • The government announced that the forthcoming Census could be the first digital census in the history of India and for this monumental and milestone-marking task, Rs, 3,768 crores allocated in the year 2021-22. 

  • The Finance Minister has stated that the fiscal deficit is RE 2020-21 is pegged at 9.5% GDP.

  • The fiscal deficit in BE 2021-22 is estimated to be 6.8% of GDP.

  • The government plan to continue the path of fiscal consolidation and intend to reach a fiscal deficit level below 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26 with a fairly steady decline over the period. 


Hence, budget 2021-22 covers various aspects such as health, sanitization, infrastructure, education, tax, economy, finance, agriculture, employment, etc. It also includes economic reform schemes, direct tax proposals, indirect tax proposals, etc.