Consentia on Law

A CRITICAL STUDY OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AVAILABLE TO CORPORATE BODIES WITH REFERENCE TO LEADING CASES

INTRODUCTION

Corporate bodies are separate legal persons capable of owning properties, entering into contracts, and suing or being sued.[1] But these corporate bodies being artificial and not natural entities, pertinent questions often arise whether corporations are entitled to same fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution or other Convention as available to natural entities. Question also arises regarding the nature of corporate personality and the theories relating to the same. Generally, it may be seen certain rights are available to citizens only like in case of Article 15, article 16, Article 19 etc… of the Constitution of India. So the concept of citizenship and nationality are also important for understanding why certain rights are not available to companies under the constitution of India.

This research has been divided generally into four parts. Firstly, a study of the jurisprudential background of company in light of the predominant corporate personality theories is done to find the philosophical basis for fundamental rights for companies. Secondly, the internal division among the fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of India is noted based on the concept of citizenship in India. Thirdly, the judicial precedents set by the Indian Courts in interpreting the constitution and determining which fundamental rights are available to a company incorporated in India is discussed chronologically. Fourthly, a comparative study of the status of company in relation to availability of fundamental rights to them is done in respect of United States and Europe. This paper thus seeks to critically study the fundamental rights available to companies from a case study viewpoint.

I. JURISPRUDENCIAL BACKGROUND OF COMPANY AND JUSTIFICATION FOR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

With the growth of corporate form of business, the companies started yielding so much of political and economic power at the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century that legal theorists had to rethink corporate theory in context of the extent to which state would exercise authority over these bodies. It is in this context many theories were evolved.

The “grant theory” or “concession theory” or “artificial entity theory[2] asserts that corporation is an artificial entity incorporated under a charter and thus its power is limited to the charter of incorporation. Thus a company legally owes its existence to the state that approves the charter for its incorporation. This theory has relevance in limit of companies like East India Company which was established under charter issued by the queen in Europe. It was also predominant in United States until late nineteenth century and was reflected in the judicial decision makings then. For example: Chief Justice Marshall held “A corporation is an artificial being, indivisible, intangible and exists only in contemplation of law… Being the mere creature of law, it possess only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it.”[3]

But after 1850, the state started granting charters to many corporations and thus nature of incorporation of a company being a privilege ceased to exist.[4] This led to the loss of significance of the “grant theory” under which companies were assumed to be artificial entity. Thus companies, in light of the “free incorporation” movement, were seen as real entity and pertinent questions were debated by the theorist then that if incorporation ceases to be a privilege whether state actually then has right to regulate companies. Thus the proponents of the real entity theory[5] stated that as companies would be formed at will and they would conduct business as they wish and dissolve at their own will too, companies ceased to be the special creatures of state and they started claiming same privileges as all other individuals and groups.[6]  It is the legacy of “real entity theory” that can be traced in modern corporate codes, judgements and common law doctrines.

M. Hager in his article, argues that: “the real entity theory might more easily account for the notion that corporations possessed ‘natural rights’, especially property rights, immune to regulation for deprivation at the hands of the state…[7] It is the rationale behind the real entity theory that paved way for companies who later claimed rights under the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment. It is also the reason real entity theorists around the globe ask for fundamental rights to be available to companies.

There are other theories regarding corporate personality like “aggregate theory” which talks about company being a fictional character which actually represents the interests of shareholders, directors and other consisting natural entities.[8] The theory was natural outgrowth of emphasis on freedom of contract and it championed the cause that economic activity being private activity, state should have minimal role and corporate forms should be left open to market forces[9]. This theory is equivalent to the concept of lifting the veil and examining who actually constitute such a company and under this theory co-extension of fundamental rights to companies as those available to its members can be argued.

Interestingly, John Dewey, a legal realist school philosopher argued in his article[10] that all these theories relating to corporate personality are actually manipulable and the same theories has been used to limit as well as expand the scope of corporate power at different points of time.

 II.                STATUS OF COMPANIES FROM CONSTITUTIONAL VIEW POINT

Part III of the Constitution of India talks about fundamental rights. There is a thin line of divide between the rights provided in Part III. While some of these rights are available only to citizens, others are available to persons. For example: Article 14 (Equality before law), Article 20 (Protection in respect of conviction of offences), Article 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty), Article 22 (Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases) , Article 25 ( Right to Freedom of Religion), Article 27 (Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any religion), Article 28 (Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction in certain educational institutions), etc… are the provisions which specifically talk about rights concerning person.

In contrast the other articles like Article 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth), Article 16 (Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment), Article 19 (Right to freedom), Article 29 (Protection of interests of minority) and Article 30 (Rights of minority to establish and administer educational institutions) talks particularly about citizens. Thus when constitution confers a particular right to be enjoyed by citizen in contradiction to those enjoyed by all, the Constitution has used the word “any citizen” or “all citizens”. It is in this context that the difference between person and citizen becomes vital to determine which fundamental rights are available to companies in India.

Part II of the Constitution of India which deals with Citizenship confers the right of citizenship to person born in India, or whose parents are born in India or who had resided for a period not less than 5 years before the commencement of the Constitution.[11] It also talks of rights of citizenship of certain persons who had migrated to India from Pakistan[12]. Thus Part II talks only about natural persons who can be citizen of India and do not contemplate corporate bodies as citizen.

The Citizenship Act 1955 basically talks about five types of citizenship i.e. citizenship by birth[13], citizenship by descent[14], citizenship by registration[15] citizenship by naturalization[16] and citizenship by incorporation of territory[17]. Interesting it is to note that this act has also excluded persons other than natural persons from the scope of citizenship. Thus Companies are not citizen in India. But the question regarding whether company still not be entitled to the fundamental rights available to citizens of India who may be shareholders in such company is a question which is to be determined only through the judicial approach taken in India.

 III.             JUDICIAL EVOLUTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF COMPANY IN INDIA

The debate relating to nature of corporate bodies and the right they are entitled to arose in India no sooner India got its independence in 1947. It was as early as 1950 that we found Indian Courts delivering decision on the issue whether companies are entitled to fundamental rights. In the first Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company case[18], a shareholder of the Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company challenged the Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1950 on the ground that the Act was not within the Legislative competence of the Parliament and infringed his fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (f), Article 31 and Article 14 of the Constitution and was consequently void. The court while giving the decision reiterated the long established principle of separate legal entity[19] and said individual shareholders and company are separate entities. Therefore, a shareholder cannot claim infringement of fundamental rights on behalf of the company unless it infringes his own rights too. Justice Mukherjea and Das observed: “Except in the matter writs in the nature of habeas corpus no one but those whose rights are directly affected by a law can raise the question of the constitutionality of a law and claim relief under Article 39”.[20] Acknowledging the difference between natural persons and juristic persons, the court held that companies can come to court for enforcement of their fundamental rights except where the language of the provision or the nature of the right, compels the inference that they are applicable only to natural persons.

The Court restated the same opinion that only certain fundamental rights are available to companies in the Jupiter General Insurance Company v. Rajagopalan and Anothers[21] case.  The court dismissed the petition of Jupiter General Insurance Company, Ltd. along with other insurance companies like the Empire of India Life Assurance Company, Ltd. and the Tropical Insurance Company, Ltd and said a corporation is not a citizen and therefore it is not entitled to raise questions that the impugned legislation has taken away or abridged the rights conferred by Article 19(1) (f) and (g), Constitution of India.

When the second Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company case[22] came, the court allowed the representative petition filed by a preference shareholder on behalf of him and other such preference shareholders. The court reasoned that the impugned Ordinance in question does violate the fundamental right of the Company under Article 31(2) of the constitution but the petition is not allowed on that ground. The fact that deprivation of the property of the Company within the meaning of Article 31 without compensation actually lead to a situation where preference shareholders who were called upon to pay the moneys unpaid on their shares involves right on part on the shareholders to challenge the constitutionality of the Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1950. The evident difference in concept of person was referred in Article 31 and citizen as referred under Article 19 was highlighted by the court and court said a shareholder can come for enforcement of his rights under Article 19 while the company itself can come to court under Article 31 to challenge the impugned Act. Thus the scope of the two Articles covers different fields.

However, the Bombay High court took a different stand and said “when the nature of right is such that it cannot be merely confined it merely to natural persons, then court must come to the conclusion that a corporation is as much entitle to that right as  an individual citizen.[23] Thus the court allowed the petition of infringement of fundamental rights under Article 19 (1) (g) by the company R.M.D. Chamarbaugwalla holding such company to be a citizen of India who is entitled to carry trade and business in India. This decision of the Bombay High Court was a clear depart from the stand taken earlier by Indian Courts where company was held only to be a person and was entitled only to such fundamental rights as available to persons.

The position kept varying as the Calcutta High Court in 1958 decided the case Everett Orient Line Incorporated v. Jasjit Singh and Others following the rationale in precedent laid down by Supreme Court in second Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company case. The court dismissed the arguments by the company Everret Orient Line on confiscation of smuggled goods from its vessel which was not in knowledge of petitioner and fine as against Article 19. The court clearly stated Article 19 protection is only for citizens and the company being incorporated outside India is not an Indian citizen. Therefore, it cannot seek protection of the same. However, whether the Calcutta High Court would have allowed the plea of protection under Article 19 if it was an Indian Company was not discussed in the case.

In Reserve Bank of India v. Palai Central Bank Limited[24] a completely different set of arguments cropped up where the Kerala High Court said that the intention of the framers of constitution was not to exclude corporate bodies from exercising all fundamental rights. The fact that “Article 19 (1) (c) they gave all citizens the right to form associations and unions, and it could not have been their intention that the corporate bodies so formed by citizens, should be denied the rights guaranteed to the individual citizens, in particular that the agencies through which a substantial portion of their business is conducted by the citizens of this country and a considerable portion of their property held, should not have the protection of Clauses (f) and (g).[25] Thus the court admitted the petition of Palai Central Bank which challenged the notice of winding up by Reserve Bank of India  and questioned the constitutional validity of Section 38(3) (b) (iii) of the Banking Companies Act on grounds of offending Article 14 and Article 19 (1) (f) and (g). The case is important from the point that court adopted an entirely peculiar reasoning that denial of fundamental rights to companies which are available to citizen will “virtually amounts to a denial of those fundamental rights to the citizens who (though, of course, different persons) really constitute those bodies.”[26]

After these series of decisions given by different High Courts based on different reasoning, the issue was again discussed by Supreme Court of India in the State Trading Corporation of India Ltd & others v. The commercial tax officer, Visakhapatnam and others[27].  While deciding the writ was filed under Article 32 of the constitution by State trading Corporation, the court had to decide whether State Trading corporation which is incorporated under Companies Act, 1956 is a citizen within the meaning of Article 19 of the constitution and can ask for the enforcement of fundamental rights granted to the citizen under the said article. The Supreme Court explained clearly that corporate bodies are juristic persons and so they cannot be termed as citizens though they may be of Indian nationality due to incorporation in India. Thus the court distinguished that corporate body being Indian national is entitled to civil rights accruing from international law but such corporate body is not a citizen. Hence it is not entitled to any particular right available only for citizen like that under Article 19.

After the State Trading Corporation case, the courts have set a trend of denying corporate bodies the title of citizenship as well as denying the fundamental rights available to citizens even when claimed through shareholders or directors of such companies. For example: negating the judgement given in Reserve Bank case[28] that companies should be entitled to fundamental rights available to citizens as ultimately it is the citizens who form such corporate bodies, the court in Tata Engineering And Locomotive Co. v. State Of Bihar and Others[29] held that:

 “Associations cannot lay claim to the fundamental rights guaranteed by that Article solely on the basis of their being an aggregation of citizens. Once a company or a corporation is formed, the business which is carried on by the said company or corporation is the business of the company or corporation and is not the business of the citizens who got the company or corporation formed or incorporated and the rights of the incorporated body must be judged on that footing and cannot be judged on the assumption that they are the right attributable to the business of individual citizens.

The court discussed in this case how accepting the argument that corporations are nothing more than an aggregation of shareholders would actually allow companies to achieve by lifting the veil that which the constitution did not provide them with i.e, the rights exclusively to citizens. Subsequent cases like Jaipur Udhyog Ltd. v. Union Of India and others[30] where writ petition had been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the constitutionality of the Cement Control Order 1967 and V. Rev. Mother Provincial v. State of Kerala and others[31] where some provisions of Kerala University Act, 1969 were challenged to be violative Article 19 (1) (f), Article 31 (2) and Article 30 (1) of the Indian constitution, courts decided in line of the Tata Engineering and Locomotive case[32] that a company registered under the Companies Act 1956 not being a citizen is not entitled to claim enforcement of fundamental rights under Article 19.

In 1969 when the Bank nationalization ordinance was passed by the then president V. V. Giri and later this ordinance was repealed by the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1969, Rustom Cavasjee Cooper, a shareholder and director of one of the fourteen commercial banks which were nationalized, challenged the validity of the Ordinance and the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1969. One of the grounds for challenge was that:

“Provisions of the Act which transferred the Undertaking of, the named Banks and prohibited those Banks from carrying on business of Banking and practically prohibited them from carrying on non-banking business, impaired the freedoms guaranteed by Articles 19(1) (f) and (g)”.[33]

The court allowed the petition on the ground that petitioner claimed the Act and the Ordinance impaired the rights guaranteed to him (that is to the shareholder) under Articles 14, 19 and 31 of the Constitution. Thus maintainable of the petition was based on infringement of R. C. Rustam’s rights and not that of the company under Article 19. However, the court specifically mentioned that where the shareholders right has been infringed along with the companies, the court cannot deny itself action merely on the technical operation of the action.

The Bennett Coleman and Company case[34] is another important case in relation to determining whether a company can have freedom of speech and expression. In this case the Sub-clauses (3) and (3A) of Clause 3 of the Newsprint Control Order, 1962, passed by the Government of India under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and the provisions of the Newsprint Import Control Policy for 1972-73 were challenged on the ground that they are violative of their fundamental right under Article 14 and 19(1) (a) of the Constitution by the newspaper company.

 The Supreme Court held in this case “the fundamental rights of shareholders as citizens are not lost when they associate to form a company”. It can be said that the court to certain extent went few steps back and the court stated that because the individual rights of freedom of speech and expression of editors, Directors and Shareholders are all expressed through their newspapers, barring relief to a newspaper company who is not a citizen will actually lead to denial of relief to the shareholders of the company.[35]

In fact the Law Commission of India in its Hundred-First Report[36] had actually taken up for consideration the idea whether the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression should be made available to the companies and other artificial entities. The Law Commission Report took cognizance of the fact that incorporations being artificial characters cannot qualify for citizenship and hence the protection of Article 19 is not available to them. But the Law Commission also took recognition of the fact that there existed atleast four category of corporations which required freedom of speech and expression like companies owning newspaper, companies owning magazines, companies producing or distributing films and corporate like universities or institutions with status of university which conduct seminars and bring out publications.[37]

In 1983, the Supreme Court of India reiterated the reasoning for the judgement given Bank Nationalization case and held in Delhi Cotton Mills case[38], where a rule regulating the deposits accepted by company was challenged, that though the law was in “nebulous state” but the rights of the shareholder and company are coextensive and therefore denial to one fundamental rights would amount to denial to other.  Therefore, fundamental right was not denied to petitioner who was a shareholder even though the company was a co-petitioner.

It is not only the rights relating to freedom of speech under Article 19 that were denied to companies by Indian courts for not being citizens. Other rights like protection of interests of minorities and their right to conserve their distinct language, script or culture as provided under Article 29[39] of the Indian Constitution is also denied to corporate bodies as the right is specific to citizens residing in India only. In recent case Dr. Naresh Agarwal v. Union of India and Others[40] where Aligarh Muslim University claimed the 50% reservation in favour of Muslim candidates only as it claimed to be a minority University entitled to the benefit of Article 30 of the Constitution of India, the court looked into Section 3 of the Aligarh Muslim University Act, 1920 which specifically declared “the constitution of a body corporate by the name of Aligarh Muslim University having perpetual seal and a right to sue and to be sued by that name”. The court said the university thus has become a distinct corporate body with separate legal entity from its members who contributed to its incorporation. Therefore, Aligarh Muslim University was not entitled to the rights which citizens can claim under Article 30.

Other recent cases like Star India Private Ltd. v. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India[41] and Others are also decided on similar rationale that companies are not citizen thus they cannot claim fundamental right that are specifically provided for citizens. So the present scenario is that a corporation cannot claim citizenship and cannot therefore claim any rights under Articles which are specifically dealing with citizens. Though the shareholders of a company can challenge the constitutional validity of a law on the ground of infringement of any article like Article 19, Article 16, Article 30 etc which protects citizens, if their own rights are infringed and in such cases the fact that company’s right is also violated will not act as a hindrance or reason for dismissal of petition.

COMPARATIVE SCENARIO IN EUROPE AND AMERICA

a)      European Scenario:

The beginning of the 17th Century saw the emergence of chartered companies as modern corporation in Europe. The East Indian Company was perhaps the most developed and profit making company of that time. These companies were incorporated by Charters issued by the state. As there is no written constitution in Europe, the fundamental rights are enshrined in The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights. This Convention was signed in Rome (Italy) on 4 November 1950 by 12 member states of the Council of Europe and entered into force on 3 September 1953.[42] Any individual, group of individuals, company or non-governmental organization can apply to the supranational court established under the Convention i.e. Strasbourg Court, provided that they have exhausted all domestic remedies for infringement of their rights.[43]

The OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v Russia[44]  is a classic example of a case where the European Court recognizes the fundamental rights of company under the European Convention on Human Rights. In this case, Yuko Oil Company filed complaint in European Court against the Russian state complaining that the Russian authorities had hit it with a series of hefty and unexpected tax claims from 2000-2003, prevented it from paying them and then purposefully dismantled it.[45] The company alleged that the Russian authorities had violated Article 6 (the right to a fair trial), Article 14 (the general prohibition on discrimination), Article 18 (protection against a states when it misuses its power) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 1 of Protocol 1(the right to protection of property) of the European Convention on Human Rights.[46] The European Court ruled that indeed the Russian State had violated the company’s convention right to a fair trial provided in Article 6, and the right to protection of property, contained in Article 1 of Protocol 1.

So we can conclude that due recognition is given to fundamental rights of companies though they are artificial entities because of their legal status.

b)     American Scenario:

 After the Civil War (1861-1865), the state control of corporations disintegrated and a competitive rush between states to attract businesses was seen. So there was a huge transformation in nature from protected democracy where state issued charter for incorporation of a company to evolution of corporate powers who claimed rights similar to that of individuals.[47] It is at this time that the Equal Protection Clause[48] came into effect in 1968. Section 1 of 14th Amendment to the Constitution of United States of America stated:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any States deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

With the Fourteenth Amendment in force, the judiciary in United States became proactive and several corporate constitutional rights were soon recognized and confirmed by the court. The cases Santra Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad[49] were brought before United States Supreme Court where the court reported that Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause granted constitutional protections to corporations as well as to natural persons.

 In a series of judgments of the United Supreme held companies are entitled to the due process guarantees of the 14th Amendment[50], the Court in another case extended the Sixth Amendment’s right to a jury trial in a criminal case to corporations[51], in yet another case the Court extended the free speech clause of the First Amendments to corporations.[52] The Supreme Court in recent Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission[53] rejected Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act’s prohibitions against corporations and unions and held the act violated the First Amendment rights of candidates who raise private money. Thus the position is settled in America as companies are entitled to constitutional rights meant even for citizens under the Bill of Rights.

CONCLUSION

Corporate bodies are important for nation’s economy. They are not only important for industrial development but also provide employment purposes. Major part of our daily lives are influenced by some or the other corporate activity. So it is important to realize that if a corporate body when at fault for not performing its duties can be held guilty and punished under various laws like in tort, Indian Penal Code, the Companies Act, etc… it is also important that such bodies has fundamental rights crucial for its own proper functioning. Like it had already been discussed above how the Hundred-First report of the Law Commission of India noted the importance of right of freedom of speech and expression to a newspaper company. If corporate bodies are expected to perform their duties according to the law for the interest of others then at the same time their rights and interest should also be protected.

As we have seen that fundamental rights of the corporate bodies are protected in other nations like United States and countries in Europe, thus the same should be followed in India too. Preservation of Fundamental rights of corporate entities is essential for the growth of the society. These artificial persons therefore should be treated as a citizen so that they can avail such basic rights. Distinction between artificial and natural person cannot be removed completely but at least such basic rights which are essential for the progress and development of these corporate bodies should be granted to them. Earlier there was a huge clash regarding Article 19(f) and Article 31 as they were not provided to artificial entities, though now they are available to them in the form of constitutional right. In the same way either the Fundamental rights which are essential for corporate bodies should be made available to them, by considering these bodies as citizen or such rights should be made available to them as constitutional rights.


[1] A.K. Majumdar and Dr. G.K. Kapoor, Taxmann’s Company Law and Practice, 12th Edition.

[2] Virginia Harper Ho, Theories of Corporate Group: Corporate Identity Reconceived, Seton Hall Law Review, Volume 42 [2012] Issue 3 Article 2.

[3] Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward 17 U.S. 518 (1819)

[4] Dale Rubin, Corporate Personhood: How the courts have employed bogus jurisprudence to grant corporations constitutional rights intended for individuals, 28 QLR 523 2009-2010

[5] The “real entity theory” is also known as “natural entity theory”. See Supra note 3.

[6] Supra note 5

[7] Mark M. Hager, Bodies Politics: The Progressive History of Organizational ‘Real Entity’ Theory, 50 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 575

[8] Supra note 3

[9] Supra note 3

[10] John Dewey, The Historical Background of Corporate Legal Personality, 35 Yale L.J. 655 1925-1926.

[11] Article 5 of The Constitution of India

[12] Article 6 of The Constitution of India

[13] Section 3 of The Citizenship Act 1955

[14] Section 4 of The Citizenship Act, 1955

[15] Section 5 of The Citizenship Act,1955

[16] Section 6 of The Citizenship Act,1955

[17] Section 7 of The Citizenship Act,1955

[18] Chitranjit Lal Chowduri v. The Union Of India And Others 1951 AIR 41

[19] See Kondoli Tea Co. Ltd, Re ILR [1886] where Calcutta High Court observed, “The company was a separate person, a separate body altogether from the shareholders and the transfer was as much a conveyance, a transfer of property, as if the shareholders had been totally different persons.”

[20] Supra note 19

[21] AIR 1952 P H 9

[22] Dwarkadas Shrinivas Of Bombay v. The Sholapur Spinning & Weaving Company 1954 AIR 119

[23] State of Bombay vs. R.M.D. Chamarbaugwalla 1957 AIR 699

[24] AIR 1961 Ker 268

[25] Ibid

[26] Ibid

[27] 1963 AIR 1811

[28] Supra note 25

[29] 1965 AIR 40

[30] AIR 1975 SC 1056

[31] 1970 AIR 2079

[32] Supra note 30

[33] Rustom Cavasjee Cooper v. Union Of India 1970 AIR 564

[34] Bennett Coleman & Company & Others v. Union Of India and Others 1973 AIR 106

[35] Ibid

[36] See The Law Commission of India (Hundred and First Law Report) on Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19 of the Constitution: Recommendation to extend it to Indian Corporations, Available at : www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/101-169/Report101.pdf(Accessed on: 10th September 2013)

[37] Ibid

[38] Delhi Cloth and General Mills v. Union of India AIR 1983 SC 937.

[39] Article 29 of The Constitution of India: “Protection of interests of minorities:

(1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same

(2) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.”

[40] 2005 (4) AWC 3745

[41] 146 (2008) DLT 455; The involved in this case was whether Star India Private Limited is entitled to protection under Article 19 of the Constitution of India and therefore whether it can file writ petition for quashing the proviso to Section 2 (1) (k) of the TRAI Act to be violative of Articles 14 and Article 19 (1) (a) and (g) and also of Articles 301 to 307 of the Constitution. The court dismissed the petition saying Star India Private Limited is a foreign company as well as companies are not entitled to benefits under Article 19 of Constitution of India.

[42] See Official Website of The European Convention on Human Rights, available at: http://human-rights-convention.org/the-texts/the-convention-in-1950/ (accessed on – 6th September 2013)

[43] Ibid

[44] Application No. 14902/04

[45] ECtHR rules Russia violated oil company’s rights, http://www.thehumanrightsofcompanies.com/the-human-rights-of-compa/2011/09/ecthr-rules-russia-violated-oil-companys-rights.html (accessed on – 5th September 2013)

[46] Ibid

[47]A Brief History of Corporate Personhood, http://coal-free-bellingham.org/a-brief-history-of-corporate-personhood/ (accessed on – 17th September 2013)

[48] The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of United States of America.

[49] 118 U.S. 394 (1886)

[50] Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway v. Minnesota 134 U.S. 418 (1890)

[51] Armour Packing Company v. United States 200 U.S. 226 (1908)

[52] First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti 435 U.S. 765 (1978)

[53] 558 U.S. 310 (2010)

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