Crossroads, Champakam Dorairajan, and the First Amendment

O. Chinnappa Reddy

in The Court and the Constitution of India

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780198066286
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081462 | DOI:
Crossroads, Champakam Dorairajan, and the First Amendment

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In the Crossroads case, the Indian Supreme Court held that freedom of speech and freedom of expression could not be restricted by any law except a law directed solely against ‘undermining of the security of state’ or its ‘overthrow’. In that case, the government of Madras had issued a notification banning the entry into or the circulation, sale, or distribution in the state of Madras or any part of it of the newspaper entitled Crossroads published from Bombay. This notification was struck down by the Supreme Court as offending the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution. Very soon after the Crossroads case, the Supreme Court in State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan struck down the community-wise distribution of admission to medical colleges, which in effect denied admission to merited candidates of the Brahmin caste as against the candidates of inferior merit belonging to other castes. The Crossroads and Champakam Dorairajan cases necessitated constitutional amendments. The First Amendment undid the effect of the two cases.

Keywords: Supreme Court; freedom of speech; freedom of expression; Crossroads; Madras; Champakam Dorairajan; First Amendment; castes; medical colleges

Chapter.  1469 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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