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Military Justice Article 32 Hearing Standard Procedure and Script
Overview of article 32 hearing.
In order for military charges and specifications to be be referred to trial by General Court-Martial, the case and evidence must be considered by a Preliminary Hearing Officer in an Article 32 Preliminary Hearing prior to referral to the General Court-Martial. Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 32 Rules of Court-Martial 405
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What Takes Place during Article 32 Preliminary Hearing?
Prior to the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing beginning, a Preliminary Hearing Officer (“PHO”) is appointed to consider the case, witnesses, documents, and other evidence presented by the trial counsel and military defense counsel. The Preliminary Hearing Officer is tasked to make a recommendation to the Convening Authority as to the following:
- Does probable cause exist for all, some, or none of the charges and specifications presented by trial counsel?
- How should the case be charged at Court-Martial
- How should the case be resolved, i.e. General Court-Martial, a less serious Court-Martial proceeding, or dropping all charges
These recommendations are non-binding; however, they are given much weight by the Convening Authority in determining the course of action after the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing is complete.
The Article 32 Preliminary Hearing Officer may make a wide variety of recommendations, including: recommending the case proceed to a General Court-Martial, charges be amended or added, the case proceed to a Special Court-Martial, an administrative or alternative disposition be used (administrative discharge, resignation, or a form of non-judicial punishment), and/or that the case be dismissed completely.
Although military prosecutors often consider Article 32 hearings meaningless formalities in the Court-Martial process and simply a stepping stone to referral of charges to trial by Court-Martial, our Fierce Advocates stand fast on our belief and dedication to Article 32 Preliminary Hearings being a crucial phase in the defense of any military service member facing a Court-Martial proceeding. We are able to attack evidentiary issues, legal issues, and other substantive points that should impact the outcome of the case. Some arguments are presented to the Preliminary Hearing Officer; however, really aimed at the ears of the prosecutor to alert them to obstacles in the Court-Martial that we are confident they cannot overcome .
This page is intended to provide guidance for service members and their families when facing a General Court-Martial proceeding, plus a deep dive of the process and players in an Article 32 Preliminary Hearing. The remainder of this page is a script and overview of a typical Article 32 Preliminary Hearing.
Article 32 Preliminary Hearing Script
Preliminary Hearing Officer : This Article 32 Preliminary Hearing is called to order at INSTILLATION (Fort Sill, Tinker Air Force Base, Vance Air Force Base, etc.) at HOURS, DATE.
Next the Preliminary Hearing Officer will introduce himself/herself to those present on the record, which will be followed by the next portion of the hearing :
Preliminary Hearing Officer : I have been appointed as the Preliminary Hearing Officer under Article 32(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to conduct a preliminary hearing into certain charges against you by order of COMMANDER, UNIT, BRIGADE.
The Charges alleged in general are as follows / I will conduct an inquiry into the matters set forth on the charge sheet dated ( date of preferral ) in the case of ( rank, name, and service of accused ), the accused.
- One specification of violation of Article No ___, Allegation
Preliminary Hearing Officer : before beginning the formal preliminary hearing and examination of any of the witnesses in this case, I must inform you that you have the right to be represented by qualified legal counsel at all times during this hearing. This means you have the right to be represented by a civil lawyer (Your Fierce Advocates, Cannon & Associates), but at no expense to the United States; by military counsel of your own selection if that counsel is reasonably available; or by counsel detailed by the Trial Defense Service to represent you during the preliminary hearing. Do you wish to be represented by counsel, and, if so, by whom do you wish to be represented?
Accused : Cannon & Associates and/or detailed Trial Defense Counsel.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Counsel, at this time state your legal qualifications, status as to oath, the authority by whom you were appointed and/or detailed, and any disqualifying capacity in which you may have acted.
Trial Counsel : I am (rank, name, and service of Trial Counsel). I am certified in accordance with Article 27(b) and sworn in accordance with Article 42(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I have been detailed to this preliminary hearing by (rank, name and command), the convening authority. I have not acted in any disqualifying manner.
Military Defense Counsel : I am John P. Cannon. I am civilian attorney. My office is located at 809 East 33rd Street, Edmond, Oklahoma 73013. My mailing address is the same. My office phone number is (405) 657-2323. I am a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and I am in good standing.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Do you swear you will faithfully perform all the duties of defense counsel in the case now in this Article 32 preliminary hearing?
Preliminary Hearing Officer : It appears civilian military defense counsel representing the accused has the requisite qualifications under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Voir Dire and Election of Counsel
Preliminary Hearing Officer : My name is (rank, name, and service of PHO). I am a commissioned officer / Judge Advocate certified in accordance with Article 27(b) and sworn in accordance with Article 42(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I am not aware of any grounds that may disqualify me as the Preliminary Hearing Officer.
Next the Preliminary Hearing Officer will ask, if defense counsel or trial counsel is aware of any grounds that may disqualify the Preliminary Hearing Officer from conducting the Article 32 hearing, if either side wishes to question the Preliminary Hearing Officer, or challenge the Preliminary Hearing Officer.
If you or your chosen military defense counsel believe a challenge exists or desire to question the Preliminary Hearing Officer concerning his or her qualifications to stand as the Article 32 Hearing Officer, this is the time to do so. The hearing will be reset with another Hearing Officer, if a proper challenge or conflict exists .
Preliminary Rights Advisement
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Do you have a copy of the charge sheet?
Accused : Yes sir or ma’am.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Do you waive reading of the charge sheet?
Counsel for Accused : In some instances our Fierce Advocates will waive reading the charge sheet, if trial counsel, the prosecutor, has missed an important fact or failed to properly allege the charges and specifications. Once the government rests, the prosecutor is unable to amend or correct deficiencies in the charge sheet, which can be to your advantage.
If you elect to have the Charge Sheet read to you the following or something similar will be stated :
Preliminary Hearing Officer : You are alleged to have committed the following violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: Specification One of Charge One alleges a violation of Article ___ of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, alleging specifically ( factual allegations for each charge and specification pending against the Accused ).
The charges were preferred by (rank, name, and service of commander / accuser of the Charge Sheet, DD Form 458), a person subject to the UCMJ and sworn before (name of officer that signed the affidavit), a commissioned officer authorized to administer oaths.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : You have the right to remain silent and you may refuse to make a statement regarding the allegations or any offense which you are accused or under investigation pursuant to Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The choice to make a statement or remain silent cannot be used against you in any way and I as the Preliminary Hearing Officer may not consider your silence as evidence for or against you. Do you understand your right to remain silent?
Article 32 Hearing Procedure Advisement
Preliminary Hearing Officer : I will now advise you of the procedure for this Article 32 hearing.
First, trial counsel will present documents relevant to this preliminary hearing. The trial counsel will next call any and all witnesses offered, you or your defense counsel will then have the opportunity to cross examine those witnesses. I will then ask questions I have of each witness and permit trial counsel and defense counsel to re-direct and cross-examine the witness as necessary.
Next, defense, you and your defense counsel will be allowed to offer documentary evidence and witnesses, which you and your defense counsel believe are relevant for this proceeding. After your defense counsel’s direct examination of witnesses, trial counsel will be allowed to cross examine the witness. Finally, I will ask questions of the witness and permit re-direct and cross-examination of the witness as necessary.
Counsel for the government and defense counsel may object to any evidence presented here; however, the military rules of evidence are generally not relevant in this proceeding and reserved for courts-martial. Exceptions to the general rule of admissibility are as follows: the rules governing privilege, degrading questions, past sexual conduct or behavior by the victim of a sexual assault, and relevancy under Military Rules of Evidence 401. Objections will be noted for the record; however, you should proceed based on my rulings on objections.
Do counsel for either side have questions regarding this procedure or the way in which the preliminary hearing will be conducted today?
Does Counsel for the government or defense counsel have any preliminary objections that they wish to be addressed or noted, prior to beginning the preliminary hearing?
Government’s Case in Chief
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Is the government prepared to present its evidence?
Trial Counsel : Yes sir/ma’am.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Does the government have any real or documentary evidence to present?
Trial Counsel : [ At this point in time the government will present real or documentary evidence .]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Does defense counsel have any objections to any of the real or documentary evidence presented by trial counsel?
Defense Counsel : [ at this point defense counsel will raise objections to evidence that should not be considered by the Preliminary Hearing Officer, or should only be considered in a limited capacity. Additionally, if evidence has not been previously provided by trial counsel, this is an appropriate time for defense counsel to raise objections on those grounds or to request a complete copy of the proffered evidence .]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Please list all of the witnesses the government intends to call and the form of their testimony today?
Trial Counsel : [ lists all witnesses to be presented and the method of their testimony ]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : [ administers oath to each witness prior to their testifying ]
Do you swear or affirm that the evidence you are about to give at this hearing will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Trial Counsel : [ trial counsel will conduct direct examination of each witness ]
Defense Counsel : [ conducts cross-examination of each witness; however, it is advisable to not ask all questions that will be relevant at courts-martial, as it may tip trial counsel or the witness off to issues or problems with testimony that may not be dispositive for the Article 32 hearing .]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : You are instructed not to discuss your testimony with anyone except counsel for the government or counsel for the accused. You shall not speak with any other witness in this preliminary hearing about your testimony or their testimony. If anyone should attempt to communicate with you about your testimony or any other issues related to your appearance or participation here today, you shall contact the counsel that originally called you as a witness and notify them of the event that occurred.
[ In the case of a military witness ] Note my order instructing you not to discuss your testimony or the testimony of any other witness here today is a lawful order, the violation of which can or will subject you to penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Does the government have any additional witnesses to present?
Trial Counsel : Yes/No sir/ma’am.
Defense Case in Chief
[ the defense may present matters in defense and mitigation relevant to the purpose of the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing .]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : [Name and rank of accused] I previously explained your right to present evidence and call witnesses to testify on your behalf in your defense and as mitigation. Do you or your defense counsel have any evidence or witnesses that you wish to present?
Defense Counsel : Yes/No sir/ma’am.
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Please list all of the witnesses the defense intends to call and the form of their testimony today?
Defense Counsel : [ lists all witnesses to be presented and the method of their testimony ]
Defense Counsel : [ trial counsel will conduct direct examination of each witness ]
[ After each witness has testified, the Preliminary Hearing Officer will advise the witness of the above stated admonition/order to not discuss testimony .]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Does the accused wish to make a statement orally or through counsel?
Defense Counsel : [ although the accused has an absolute right to make a statement during the Article 32 preliminary hearing, our military defense counsel highly advises against. The information that the accused may present could lead to other charges and specifications by trial counsel and what could be accomplished by a statement by the accused is better served by argument of your military defense counsel. ]
Conclusion of Article 32 Preliminary Hearing
Preliminary Hearing Officer : I will now hear brief closing comments/argument by trial counsel and defense counsel as it relates to my determination of probable cause, jurisdiction for this matter, the form of charges, disposition of charges, and any recommendation or additional charges. I will also permit the submission of closing statements in writing.
Government Counsel : [ government counsel may give a closing statement or waive. ] Defense Counsel: [ our Fierce Advocates for military justice will always make a closing argument, which is limited to jurisdiction, factual disputes, amendment to charges/specifications, and other preliminary matters. It is crucial to not tip your hand/strategy to trial counsel at this point; however, it is important to give the preliminary hearing officer sufficient argument to make rulings on your behalf .]
Preliminary Hearing Officer : Unless either trial counsel or defense counsel have anything further, this preliminary hearing is now concluded.
[ The preliminary hearing officer will hold completion of the DD Form 457 until receipt and review of the recording of the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing officer will deliberate, typically for one to three days, reach conclusions of facts in the case and findings of law. Then the preliminary hearing officer will draft a legal opinion or decision, forward it to the Command Authority through trial counsel or the Staff Judge Advocate. Once the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing decision is reached, if any charges and specifications remain, arraignment will be scheduled for proceedings to move to the courts-martial and a scheduling order will be entered by the trial counsel. ]
Defending your Rights at Your Article 32 Hearing
We hope this summary / transcript of a typical Article 32 Preliminary Hearing has been helpful in understanding the process you may be facing. Our Fierce Advocates defend military members from every branch of service throughout the court-martial process. Our military criminal defense attorneys are former and current JAG lawyers that defend service members and their families every day.
If you are facing military court-martial, allegations and an Article 32 Hearing, seek legal counsel and get the Fierce Advocate you need to fight your case.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Fierce Advocates for Military Service Members
At Cannon & Associates , our attorneys have the experience and expertise needed to navigate the complex military justice system. We will throw our strength, expertise, and resources behind your case to defend your rights and fight your case.
Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, is a JAG lawyer, and our team is dedicated to Fierce Advocates for service members facing an Article 32 Preliminary Hearing or other military justice process. Contact Cannon & Associates by completing the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.
Monitoring State Compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child pp 327–337 Cite as
Article 32: The Right to Protection from Economic Exploitation and Hazardous Activities
- Gerison Lansdown 30
- Open Access
- First Online: 03 January 2022
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR,volume 25)
‘Governments should advertise more about children rights as well as make regular check-ups on homes and workplaces to ensure children are not doing child labour or unfairly paid.’ (Latin America/Caribbean).
Download chapter PDF
States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the present article.
‘Schools holding public education initiatives by talking to parents about harmful work.’ (Latin America/Caribbean).
We have to make sure that they are reliable statistics on working children. (Africa).
‘Having an enforced documented minimum age where children can start working.’ (Latin America/Caribbean).
Article 32 establishes the right of children to protection from economic exploitation, and from work deemed to be harmful to their health or detrimental to any dimension of their development, or which interferes with their education. It also identifies, in broad terms, the measures required by States Parties to achieve this protection. The development of the text during the drafting process moved from a focus on protection of the child towards an understanding of the right to protection in this context (Swepston, 2012 , pp. 14–15).
However, after much debate, and influence from the ILO, the drafters agreed to rely on a general formulation of the standards necessary to provide appropriate protection. For example, prescribed minimum ages for work were removed in favour of a general requirement that States Parties introduce legislative age limits (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Rädda barnen (Society: Sweden), 2007 , pp. 693–708). This approach was adopted in acknowledgement of the different levels of development between States Parties, as well as the importance of differentiating between the protections needed for different types of work. It was left to the Committee to provide subsequent interpretation, drawing on the more detailed provisions in ILO Conventions, 138 and 182 in particular, on the definitions of work, the nature of the regulatory environment needed, recommended age limits, and the nature of hazardous or harmful work.
The drafting process involved a gradual consensus that the purpose of Article 32 was to incorporate the issue within the Convention in the context of existing international law, notably standards established by the ILO, rather than seeking to adopt new protections (Swepston, 2012 , p. 17). This approach is clearly envisioned in the reference in paragraph 2 to the need to have ‘regard to the relevant provisions of other national instruments’.
Some groups of children are particularly vulnerable to economic exploitation. The Committee has repeatedly highlighted concerns, for example, over the abuse of girls in domestic labour ( 2016a , paras. 84–86), Footnote 1 the exploitation of children with disabilities in begging and drug trafficking ( 2007a , para. 75), and the criminalisation of children in street situations leading to commercial sexual exploitation ( 2017b , para. 59). It urges States Parties to take appropriate actions to address these discriminatory vulnerabilities. Furthermore, children who do work should not suffer wage discrimination, for example, being forced to accept low wages that do not reflect their skills (UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2016 , para. 47 (b)).
While harmful or hazardous work is clearly not in the best interests of the child, the Committee has recognised that work can play a positive role, particularly in the lives of older children. It highlights the importance of a transitional approach towards balancing the role of work in the lives of adolescents while ensuring their other rights.
Article 32 focuses on the right of the child to protection from any work that is harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development, a broader requirement than that included in the ILO Conventions, which only address morals and health. States Parties are required to introduce all necessary measures to ensure that protection. However, the Committee recognises the positive developmental role of appropriate work, highlighting its potential for equipping them to learn skills, take responsibility, contribute to their families’ well-being, and support their access to education ( 2003 , paras. 18, 39 (e), 2016a , para. 85).
The Committee emphasises that States Parties must ensure children are involved in the development of all relevant legislation and policies that affect their lives, a prescription that includes measures relating to child labour ( 2016a , para. 23). It specifically affirms that children, and where they exist, representatives of working children’s organisations, should be heard when labour laws are drafted or when enforcement of laws is considered and evaluated ( 2009a , para. 117).
Although Article 15, the right to freedom of association and assembly, does not reference the right to join a trades union, the restrictions outlined in its paragraph 2 do not justify any prohibition on children from either forming their own or joining existing unions (UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2001 , para. 38; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Rädda barnen (Society: Sweden), 2007 , p. 469). Article 41, which stipulates that the standards of other international instruments should not be lowered by any provision in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, lends further weight to the argument that Article 15 should be interpreted to include the right of working children to trade union rights, to the same standard as that provided by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Daly, 2016 , p. 35).
Articles Related or Linked to Article 32
Article 11 deals with illicit transfer of children and includes the right to protection from trafficking.
Article 15 establishes the right of children to freedom of association, which includes the right to join and form trade unions or associations.
Article 19 asserts the right to protection from all forms of violence including within environments where children are working.
Article 24 addresses the right to the best possible health, and accordingly, children must not be exposed to work that is detrimental to their health and well-being.
Article 27 asserts that children have the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and social needs and support their development.
Article 28 recognises the right to education, and children must not be involved in child labour that deprives them of that right.
Article 31 r ecognises rights to rest, play, leisure, and recreation and the arts, and these must not be compromised by the demands of children’s involvement in work.
Article 33 recognises that children must not be used in the illicit production or trafficking of narcotic drugs.
Article 34 asserts that children must be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Article 35 provides that children are entitled to protection from being sold, abducted or trafficked.
Article 38 provides protection for children affected by war and states that children under 15 must not be recruited into hostilities.
Article 39 requires that children who are exposed to harmful work must be entitled to recovery and reintegration.
Optional Protocol on sale of children , elaborates prohibitions on the sexual exploitation of children, and their use in any form of sexual activity for purposes of remuneration.
Optional Protocol on involvement of children in armed conflict , prohibits compulsory recruitment of children under 18 into armed forces and no recruitment into armed groups is acceptable under 18 years.
Child labour has been addressed in many international treaties, dating back to the 1919 ILO Convention. Although many of the early ILO treaties remain in force, they have been largely superseded by later ILO Conventions, which are those most frequently referenced by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. ILO Conventions and other instruments most frequently referenced by the Committee include:
ILO Convention 138, Minimum Age (1973), consolidates earlier ILO Conventions dating back to 1919
ILO Convention 182, Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999)
ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), which includes the elimination of child labour as one of its four fundamental rights guaranteed to all as an immediate consequence of membership in ILO
ILO Recommendation 146, Minimum Age (1973)
ILO Recommendation 190, Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999)
In addition, the ILO Global Report 2002, A future without child labour , clarifies the boundaries of term child labour. It does not apply to all work but only that which violates international standards. It elaborates three categories of work to be abolished:
Labour by a child under the minimum age prescribed in national legislation and in line with international standards
Labour that jeopardises the physical, mental or moral well-being of child – defined as hazardous work
Worst forms of child labour which, are defined as slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, and other forced labour, forced recruitment for armed conflict, prostitution and pornography, and illicit activities.
Other Relevant Instruments:
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Articles 4, 23, which state no one shall be held in slavery; everyone has the right to work, fair remuneration, and join a trades union.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Article 8, which requires no forced labour or servitude.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Article 7, which elaborates the right to work and just and favourable conditions. It requires special measures of protection and assistance for children including from economic and social exploitation. Work harmful to morals or health or likely to damage their development should be punishable in law. It also recommends minimum age limits.
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990), Article 15, which spells out that provisions on economic exploitation apply to both formal and informal work, and explicitly refers to ILO Conventions.
European Social Charter (Revised) (1996), Article 7, establishes detailed rights to protection at work for children.
Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights ‘Protocol of San Salvador’ (1988), Article 7, which prohibits night work or dangerous work for those under 18, and for all under 16, asserts that work must not impede full time education.
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), Article 32, which states that employment of children is prohibited, that minimum working age must correspond to school leaving age. And children must be protected from exploitation and harmful work or any work interfering with education.
Attribute One: Protection from Economic Exploitation and Harmful Work
Article 32 establishes the right to protection from economic exploitation. It does not imply that all work is unacceptable. Rather, it sets out in general terms the nature of exploitative work from which children must be protected, including that which is hazardous (relating to an immediate or imminent danger), harmful to their development (applying to longer-term risks), or interferes with education. Such work has been defined as child labour by the ILO ( n.d. ), and has been described by the ILO as including (International Labour Organization, 2002 ):
any work under the minimum age prescribed in national legislation or which fails to comply with the relevant protective standards
hazardous work that jeopardises the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child
the worst forms of child labour including slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, or other forced labour, forced recruitment for armed conflict, child sexual abuse and illicit activities (International Labour Organization, 1999 , p. 182).
The Committee has emphasised the importance of adopting a holistic approach to child labour, addressing it in the context of the four General Principles (as above). It has made clear that work must be defined to cover both formal and informal activities, including, for example, domestic labour, agricultural work for the family, and street activities (International Labour Organization, 2006 , p. 11; UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2000a , paras. 65–71). Footnote 2
Building on ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour, the Committee has outlined in more detail the types of work that are prohibited and must be legislated against, including that which is contrary to the child’s human dignity, cruel, inhuman or degrading, dangerous or harmful, discriminatory, below the minimum age, and that which involves legally punishable criminal activities ( 1994a , pp. 38–43). The Committee has highlighted a number of specific forms of child labour needing abolition including, for example, cotton-picking, mining, working on sugar cane plantations, working as a child jockey, and domestic labour for girls, the latter sometimes defined as a worst form of child labour under ILO 182. Footnote 3 Since ILO 182 was adopted in 1999, the Committee has consistently referred States Parties to its standards and encouraged ratification and implementation. Footnote 4
Attribute Two: Regulatory Framework to Provide Protection
Article 32 imposes on States Parties a requirement to introduce a regulatory framework prescribing ages and conditions of employment for children. In this regard, the Committee consistently recommends that States Parties ratify and implement ILO Convention 138 which elaborates the need to progressively raise the minimum age for work to a level consistent with physical and mental development, to define the work activities permitted, and prescribe the number of hours and conditions of work. Footnote 5 The Committee, in line with ILO 138, regularly recommends the age of 15 years as the appropriate minimum age for full time work, and also presses for consistency between the minimum school leaving age and entry into full time employment as an added level of protection. Footnote 6 However, the Committee emphasises that it is not the intention of Article 32 to prevent, for example, flexible engagement of children in seasonal work, nor to prohibit domestic chores, as long as these activities are consistent with receiving an education ( 1993 , para. 44).
Consistent with its focus on a holistic approach to Article 32, the Committee has drawn States Parties attention to the need for legislation and regulation to protect other rights in the context of work. In addition to the importance of applying the General Principles, and the need to ensure the right to education and healthy development, it highlights reports from children of exposure to violence in the workplace as a means of coercion, punishment or control, and the imperative for explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in all work environments ( 2007b , paras. 35–36). The Committee also emphasises the need for legal standards that afford children the opportunity to exercise their rights to rest, leisure, play and recreation under Article 31 ( 2013 , para. 29).
Attribute Three: Administrative, Social, and Educational Measures for Protection
Article 32 requires States Parties to go beyond the introduction of an appropriate legislative framework and to adopt administrative, social, and educational measures for protecting children from exploitative or harmful work. The introduction of age limits and prohibited forms of work will not address the problem of child labour without being undertaken in the context of wider measures. The Committee has recommended a range of approaches necessary to contribute to such protection:
Disaggregated data collection to understand the dynamics of child labour and support recommendations that will address its the root causes and dangers Footnote 7
Investment in social and economic development and poverty eradication ( 2016a , para. 85)
Universal free access to quality, inclusive primary and secondary education ( 2016a , para. 85)
Coordination of schooling and introduction to decent work, with support for school-to-work transitions ( 2016a , para. 85)
Family support programmes to eliminate child labour ( 2016c , para. 66 (e))
Establishing and strengthening monitoring capacity at government and local levels to identify children engaged in the worst forms of child labour and ensure their removal, rehabilitation and reintegration ( 2017e , para. 43 (a))
Awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns, targeting children and their parents on the rights of working children ( 2016d , para. 44 (d))
Co-operation with the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour ILO/IPEC ( 2006c , paras. 67–68).
Attribute Four: Penalties and Enforcement for Effective Protection
States Parties are required to introduce mechanisms for effective enforcement of measures to protect children under their Article 32 rights. This includes a regulatory framework establishing responsibilities for compliance in both the formal and non-formal sectors which must be reinforced by a trained labour inspectorate, backed up with the necessary support and appropriate penalties in cases of non-compliance (UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2006d , para. 89).
The Committee encourages awareness raising among the public of the legal protections against exploitation of child labour with a view to encouraging the reporting of violations and ensuring these are thoroughly investigated and perpetrators are sanctioned ( 2017f , para. 43 (c)). However, it is imperative that interventions designed to protect children are not undertaken in a manner that undermines protection, for example, criminalising children and resulting in engagement in more harmful and less regulated work. Dialogue with children on the most appropriate means of providing protection, together with community engagement, is essential. Footnote 8
See also, for example, concluding observations for Senegal ( 2006a , paras. 60–63), and Qatar ( 2017a , para. 35).
See also, for example, concluding observations for Iran ( 2005a , para. 69) and Kenya ( 2016b , para. 71 (b)).
See, for example, concluding observations for Mongolia ( 2005b , paras. 60, 61), Uzbekistan ( 2006b , paras. 64, 65), Bolivia ( 2009b , para. 74), and Senegal ( 2006a , paras. 60–63), and Preliminary Observations: Colombia ( 1994b , para. 9).
See, for example Concluding Observations: Korea ( 2017c ).
See, for example, Concluding Observations: Mongolia ( 2017d , para. 41).
See, for example, concluding observations for Belarus ( 1994c ) and Sri Lanka ( 1994d , para. 41).
See, for example, concluding observations for South Africa ( 2000b , para. 14) and Peru ( 2016c , para. 66 (g)).
See, for example, ‘Child work and child’ (The Concerned for Working Children, n.d. )
Daly, A. (2016). A commentary on the United Nations convention on the rights of the child, article 15: The right to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. A commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15: The right to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly . Brill Nijhoff. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://brill.com/view/title/11631
International Labour Organization. (1999). Convention C182 - worst forms of child labour convention, 1999 (no. 182) . Geneva: ILO. Retrieved November 26, 2020, from https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:C182
International Labour Organization. (2002). A future without child labour. Global report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Report of the Director-General, 2002 (Report) . Retrieved November 26, 2020, from http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/order-online/books/WCMS_PUBL_9221124169_EN/lang%2D%2Den/index.htm
International Labour Organization. (2006). The end of child labour: Within reach . Geneva. Retrieved December 20, 2020, from https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_2419/lang%2D%2Den/index.htm
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Lansdown, G. (2022). Article 32: The Right to Protection from Economic Exploitation and Hazardous Activities. In: Vaghri, Z., Zermatten, J., Lansdown, G., Ruggiero, R. (eds) Monitoring State Compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research, vol 25. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84647-3_33
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1) Examine why BR Ambedkar called Article 32 as the heart and soul of the constitution?(250 words)
Topic – Part of static series under the heading “Article 32 as the soul of Constitution”
Key demand of the question The question demands us to answer the significance of article 32 and what makes it one of the most important provisions of the constitution. Directive word Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . Structure of the answer Introduction – Explain what article 32 is Body – Highlight the significance of article 32 which makes it one of the most significant provisions of the constitution. Mention that without article 32, fundamental rights lose their importance, it is a part of basic structure . Mention that it is only by granting the power to SC as the protector of the constitution we are securing the rights of the people. Discuss the impact of article 32 through some cases. Conclusion – Mention that article 32 is the pillar on which part 3 of our constitution rests and thus it becomes the soul of the constitution.
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All about Article 32 of the Constitution of India
- Constitutional Law Subject-wise Law Notes
- May 27, 2021
The Constitution of India has always focussed upon the concept of Fundamental Rights. It has provided the remedies for enforcement of such rights. So, the author intends to give a proper evaluation of the Article 32 and its further validation down the years. Author deals with the conceptual overview and also the related cases. There is substantive interpretation. Insight into concepts such as ‘Right to move the Supreme Court and Writs has been given primary importance. Validity of the provisions in Indian scenario would closely deal in this paper.
When the law becomes a weapon of oppression rather than an equalising force, democracy is in danger. Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, and affirms the right of an individual to move the (SC) by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the constitution.
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution is considered one the most important articles when it comes to the enforcement of the rights of an individual. It gives rights to an individual to seek justice in a court when they feel that their rights have been infringed or ‘unduly deprived’. The SC has the power to execute the rights that have been bestowed upon an individual by the constitution.
Under Article 32, an assured right is guaranteed to persons for the protection of fundamental rights as the statute grants a person the right to immediately reach the Supreme Court without pursuing a longer procedure by going to the lower courts first as the primary object of Writ Jurisdiction under Article 32 is to enforce fundamental rights.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has said, “If I was asked to name any particular article in this Constitution as the most important — an article without which this Constitution would be a nullity —It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it”.
Concept and Purpose of Article 32 of the Constitution of India
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to individuals to move to the Supreme Court to seek justice when they feel that their right has been ‘unduly deprived’. The apex court is given the authority to issue directions or orders for the execution of any of the rights bestowed by the constitution as it is considered ‘the protector and guarantor of Fundamental Rights’.
Nature of Writ Jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India
Article 32(1): Guarantee to remedy
Article 32(2): Power of Supreme Court (and high courts) to issue writs
Article 32(3): Power of parliament to confer the power to issue writs to other courts (so far this power is not exercised.
Article 32(4): Suspension of Fundamental Rights. Supreme Court which is guardian of the fundamental rights in India has three kinds of jurisdiction: original, appellate & advisory.
Article 32 uses the power of original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by which any person who has a complaint that his / her fundamental right has been violated within the territory of India may move directly to the Supreme Court. He / She may move to the High Court does not imply that he/ she cannot move directly to the Supreme Court. Original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends to any dispute between Government of India and one or more States between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more States on the other or between two or more States.
Writs under Article 32 of the Constitution of India
In case of violation of fundamental rights The high court and supreme court can be approached .
There are five types of writs can be issued in case of violation of fundamental rights, they are:
- Habeas Corpus : This means that ‘produce the body’, the main purpose of this writ is to claim against the unlawful detention of an individual. The purpose of it is to protect an individual from unlawful harm caused by the administrative system.
A criminal who is convicted has the right to seek the assistance of the court by filing an application for “writ of Habeas Corpus” if he believes that he has been wrongfully imprisoned and the conditions in which he has been held falls below minimum legal standards for human treatment.
The first Habeas Corpus case of India was that in Kerala where it was filed by the victims’ father as the victim P. Rajan who was a college student was arrested by the Kerala police and being unable to bear the torture he died in police custody. So, his father Mr T.V. Eachara Warrier filed a writ of Habeas Corpus and it was proved that he died in police custody.
Narayan v. Ishwarlal 
In this case it was heldthat the court would rely on the way of the procedures in which the locale has been executed.
ADM Jabalpur v. Shivakant Shukla  which is also known as the Habeas Corpus case, it was held that the writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be suspended even during the emergency (Article 359
- Quo Warranto: It means ‘By what means’. This writ shall be invoked in public service cases and shall be given to preclude people to whom he is not entitled from participating in public office.
In the case of Ashok Pandey v. Mayawati  , the writ of Quo Warranto was refused against Ms Mayawati (CM) and other ministers of her cabinet even though they were Rajya Sabha members.
Then in the case of G.D. Karkare v. T.L. Shevde  , the High Court of Nagpur observed that “In proceedings for a writ of quo warranto, the applicant does not seek to enforce any right of his as such nor does he complain of any non-performance of duty towards him. What is in question is the right of the non-applicant to hold the office and an order that is passed is an order ousting him from that office.”
- Mandamus: It literally means ‘We Command’. This writ is provided for the proper execution of compulsory and exclusively ministerial duties and is issued to a lower court or government official by a superior court.
In Rashid Ahmad v. Municipal Board  , it was held that in relation to Fundamental Rights the availability of alternative remedy cannot be an absolute bar for the issue of writ though the fact may be taken into consideration.
Then, in the case of Manjula Manjori v. Director of Public Instruction , the publisher of a book had applied for the writ of mandamus against the Director of Public Instruction for the inclusion of his book in the list of books which were approved as text-books in schools. But the writ was not allowed as the matter was completely within the discretion of D.I.P and he was not bound to approve the book.
- Certiorari: It literally means to be certified. It is provided where the power is wrongfully exercised and the judgment of the case is focused on it.
In Surya Dev Rai v. Ram Chander Rai & Ors. , the Supreme Court has explained the meaning, ambit and scope of the writ of Certiorari. Also, in this it was explained that Certiorari is always available against inferior courts and not against equal or higher court, i.e., it cannot be issued by a High Court against any High Court or benches much less to the Supreme Court and any of its benches.
In the case of T.C. Basappa v. T. Nagappa & Anr.  , it was held by the constitution bench that certiorari maybe and is generally granted when a court has acted (i) without jurisdiction or (ii) in excess of its jurisdiction.
- Prohibition : That is a writ that orders a lower court to avoid doing anything that the statute forbids it to do. The primary aim is to prohibit an inferior court from violating its authority or behaving in violation of the provisions of Natural Justice.
In the case of East India Commercial Co. Ltd v. Collector of Customs  , a writ of prohibition was passed directing an inferior Tribunal prohibiting it from continuing with the proceeding on the ground that the proceeding is without or in excess of jurisdiction or in contradiction with the laws of the land, statutes or otherwise.
In the case of Bengal Immunity Co. Ltd  , the Supreme Court pointed out that where an inferior tribunal is shown to have seized jurisdiction which does not belong to it then that consideration is irrelevant and the writ of Prohibition has to be issued as a right.
Analysis of Article 32 of the Constitution of India
When a crime is committed against a person or a person is infringed of his fundamental rights, the victim loses a lot apart from incurring damages and injuries. The work of the judiciary should not only be to punish the guilty but also to compensate the victim as even if the accused is punished, the victim’s loss is not compensated. It is not like that the victims of crime can never ask for the compensation as such a prayer is available under the civil laws, but filing two different suits for the same offence in two different courts. This may lead to further traumatisation to the victims.
The idea behind awarding monetary compensation to the victims of crime or the victims of state lawlessness is both legal as well as humanitarian. If the state is unable to protect the individual’s rights, then the state is under legal obligation to compensate him. Many times the victim passes through many hardships, pain and many times the result is the permanent loss of the source of income, which makes it sensible and logical for him to be compensated.
In the Indian culture of the 21st century, many individuals need their ladies to be “unadulterated” or pure virgins. A victim of rape in such cases not just loses out the chance to wed into an otherwise decent family but is segregated upon for no blame of hers. It is said that the most priced possession of a lady is her dignity and respect. In the general public where individuals still have an old mentality, the life of such a lady only degrades. It just bodes well to compensate such a victim well apart from punishing the accused. Mental shock, loss of income and cost of litigation should be taken into consideration when coming out with compensation and the Courts should hence compensate the victims more frequently
Amendments to Article 32
‘Anti-freedom’ clauses were included in Article 32 by the 42nd Amendment. Such an amendment was made during the time of emergency when it was passed to reduce ‘both directly and indirectly’ the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to review the application of fundamental rights. Then 43rd amendment of the Indian Constitution was passed which repealed Article 32A immediately after the emergency was revoked. Following the amendment, the Supreme Court again gained the power to quash the state laws. Also, the High Courts got the power to question the constitutional validity of central laws.
Limitations to Article 32 of the Constitution of India
- Under Article 33, the Parliament is empowered to make changes in the application of Fundamental Rights to armed forces and the police are empowered with the duty to ensure proper discharge of their duties.
- During the operation of Martial law in any area, any person may be indemnified by the Parliament, if such person is in service of the state or central government for the acts of maintenance or restoration of law and order under Article 34.
- Under Article 352- when an emergency is proclaimed, the guaranteed Fundamental Rights of the citizens remains suspended. Also, Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19 is restricted by the Parliament under Article 358 during the pendency of an emergency.
- Article 359 confers the power to the President to suspend Article 32 of the Constitution. The order is to be submitted to the Parliament and the Parliament may disapprove President’s order.
We arrive at the conclusion that compensation isn’t just required yet it is in reality a critical part of even criminal law and the courts ought not to utilize this sparingly but rather a little generously. Of course they ought to be cautious of not granting too high a compensation and consequently ought to be careful.
Article 32 has allowed wide powers to the Supreme Court to protect the essential privileges of Indians, and as I would see it is a standout amongst the most liberal article in the constitution of India. In spite of the fact that our constitution ensures fundamental rights, they are regularly alluded to as unfundamental. The reason is that our justice system is diverting, bulky, moderate and costly. Infringement of major rights frequently goes unreported due to the sheer measure of time and cash one needs to spend to get justice. This is the reason instead of looking for lawful review individuals regularly disregard the encroachment of their essential rights. What’s more, this is presumably one of the most grounded reasons why laudable damages and compensation ought to be granted.
The Judicial activism in such manner to uphold and to guarantee that basic rights stay crucial is an appreciated advance. The pattern is plainly heading towards the correct bearing. It will be interesting to perceive how judiciary, by using its dynamism, makes the machinery smoother, legitimate and just.
 AIR 1965 SC 1818
 AIR 2007 SC 2259
 AIR 1952 Nag. 333.
 AIR 1952 Orissa 344
 1954 AIR 240
 1962 AIR 1893
 AIR 1955 SC 661
Author: Surbhi Kumari (Amity Law School, Patna)
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Home / clat ug / Article 32 of the Indian Constitution
Article 32 of the indian constitution.
Ruchika Mohapatra | Jun 03, 2023 | 5 min read
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution is a crucial provision that plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the fundamental rights of Indian citizens. Often referred to as the “Right to Constitutional Remedies,” this article empowers individuals to seek justice from the Supreme Court of India when their fundamental rights are violated.
This article grants the Supreme Court the power to issue directions, orders, and writs for the enforcement of these fundamental rights.
In this article, we will delve into the provision of Article 32 and provide a summary of relevant case laws that have shaped its interpretation and implementation.
Article 32 under the Indian Constitution
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution states, “The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.”
This provision establishes the right of individuals to approach the Supreme Court directly for the protection and enforcement of their fundamental rights. It empowers the Supreme Court as the guardian of the Constitution and ensures that citizens have a meaningful mechanism to seek redressal when their rights are infringed upon.
Article 32 is considered the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution. It is an essential safeguard for protecting the fundamental rights enshrined in Part III of the Constitution. The provision grants individuals a fundamental right to move the Supreme Court directly for the enforcement of their fundamental rights, thereby ensuring quick and effective remedies. Article 32 is a fundamental right in itself, and any law or action that seeks to abridge or curtail this right is subject to scrutiny by the judiciary.
Article 32 has been instrumental in fostering public interest litigation, allowing public-spirited individuals and organizations to seek legal remedies on behalf of marginalized sections of society.
Writs and Remedies
Article 32 empowers the Supreme Court to issue writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights. The five types of writs available under Article 32 are:
a) Habeas Corpus: A writ that ensures an individual’s release from unlawful detention.
b) Mandamus: A writ that orders a public official or authority to perform a public duty.
c) Prohibition: A writ that prohibits a lower court or tribunal from exceeding its jurisdiction.
d) Certiorari: A writ that seeks the quashing of an order passed by a lower court or tribunal.
e) Quo Warranto: A writ that inquires into the legality of a person holding a public office.
These writs are powerful tools that enable the Supreme Court to protect and enforce fundamental rights and hold public authorities accountable.
Important Judgements under Article 32
Article 32 places significant responsibilities on the Supreme Court as the protector of fundamental rights. The Supreme Court acts as a sentinel on the qui vive, i.e., a vigilant guardian, ensuring that the rights of citizens are not violated or infringed upon.
It has the power to strike down laws, regulations, or actions that violate fundamental rights and may issue appropriate directions to safeguard these rights. The Supreme Court’s role in interpreting and implementing Article 32 has been instrumental in shaping the jurisprudence of fundamental rights in India.
A.D.M. Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla: This landmark case, popularly known as the “Habeas Corpus case,” raised significant questions regarding the scope and limitations of Article 32.
The Supreme Court, in a controversial decision, held that during an emergency, the right to move the court under Article 32 stood suspended. However, this decision was widely criticized and eventually overruled by the Supreme Court in subsequent judgments, reaffirming the significance of Article 32 as a fundamental right.
Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India: In this case, the Supreme Court expansively interpreted the scope of Article 32, emphasizing that the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 could not be restricted by the literal interpretation of the Constitution.
The court held that the procedure established by law must be fair, just, and reasonable. This judgment broadened the horizons of fundamental rights and reinforced the significance of Article 32 as a powerful tool for protecting individual liberties.
Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India: This case dealt with the exploitation of bonded laborers and highlighted the significance of Article 32 in providing access to justice for marginalized and oppressed sections of society.
The Supreme Court held that Article 32 could be invoked not only by aggrieved individuals but also by public-spirited persons or organizations on their behalf. This widened the standing and locus standi for filing petitions under Article 32.
State of Karnataka v. Union of India: This case reaffirmed the importance of Article 32 as a fundamental right and clarified that the court has a constitutional obligation to intervene and protect fundamental rights when they are violated.
The Supreme Court emphasized that it is the duty of the court to strike down any law or action that is arbitrary, unreasonable, or violative of fundamental rights.
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution serves as a powerful tool for protecting and enforcing fundamental rights. It empowers individuals to directly approach the Supreme Court for redressal when their rights are infringed upon. Over the years, through various landmark judgments, the Supreme Court has expanded the scope and interpretation of Article 32, ensuring that it remains a crucial safeguard for individual liberties.
The provision has played a vital role in promoting social justice, addressing inequality, and protecting the rights of marginalized sections of society. Article 32 stands as a testament to the commitment of the Indian Constitution towards upholding and preserving the fundamental rights of its citizens.
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Types of Writs and Article 32 of the Constitution: Explained
- April 9, 2021
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In this article, the author has explained the meaning of Article 32 of the Constitution under the context of various writs, with the help of various Judicial precedents
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Article 32 of the Indian Constitution provides for the right to constitutional remedies. This gives the individuals in India to file a petition in the Supreme Court in case of violation of their fundamental rights. The article specifically provides for five Writs in India that can be issued by the apex court. It includes habeas corpus , mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari.
Types of Writs
Habeas Corpus in a literal sense means “You shall have the body”. When an individual is arrested, he is supposed to be presented before the court in 24 hours. In the case of the contrary, habeas corpus is applied. This writ can be claimed by the arrested person itself or someone else on their behalf to check the lawfulness of the arrest.
ADM Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla , also known as the Habeas corpus case, was filed in the Supreme Court of India. The court held that the writ of Habeas corpus cannot be claimed in case of emergency under Ar t icle 359 . However, this was overruled in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India .
In the case of Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration , the court held that the writ of habeas corpus can not only be issued when an individual is illegally detained but also to protect the prisoners from inhumane treatment.
The meaning of “mandamus” is “we command”. This writ is issued by a court to an inferior court or government official to perform their official duties properly. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, 9 th edition, mandamus is defined as “A writ issued by a court to compel performance of a particular act by a lower court or a governmental officer or body, to correct a prior action or failure to act.” For example, even though a police officer has the right to investigate all the cases under his jurisdiction when it comes to the notice of the court that it has been done in a mala fide manner, then the court can issue a writ of mandamus. However, this cannot be issued against President and Governors.
In Raman & Raman v. State of Madras , the Supreme Court held that mandamus can be issued only when the petitioner has a legal right that gives rise to the performance of a legal duty.
In the case of State of Madhya Pradesh v. Bhailal Bhai , the court held that writ of mandamus cannot be issued when there was an undue delay in filing of the petition.
Further, in S.P. Gupta v. Union of India and C.G. Govindan v. State of Gujarat , the court that writ of mandamus cannot be issued against the President and the Governor, respectively.
Prohibition is a writ issued by the superior court to the inferior courts or quasi-judicial body when they exceed the power vested in them or exceed their jurisdiction. This can simply be called a ‘Stay Order’. This writ prohibits the inferior court from continuing the judicial proceedings. The reason for the existence of this writ is to make sure that the inferior courts exercise their jurisdiction properly. This can be issued in case of violation of principles of natural justice or fundamental rights as well.
In the case of East India Commercial Co. Ltd v. Collector of Customs , the Supreme Court issued an order of prohibition to restrain the Customs Authority from continuing the investigation as they had no jurisdiction.
In S. Govinda Menon v. Union of India , the court held that the issuance of the writ of prohibition is not only limited to the excess of jurisdiction or absence of jurisdiction but also in case of departure from the rules of natural justice.
Quo Warranto means “by what warrant or authority”. When a person holds a public office and if it is found that he is not entitled to hold the same, then the writ of quo warranto shall be issued. This office should be public and substantive.
In Jamalpur Arya Samaj v. Dr. D. Ram , the court held that the writ of quo warranto cannot be issued if the office is private and not public.
In the case of P.L. Lakhanpal v. Ajit Nath Ra y , the court decided not to issue the writ of quo warranto against the Chief Justice of India as he can be re-appointed based on the rule of seniority.
In Purushottam Lal v. State of Rajasthan & Dr. Y.S. Rajasekara Reddy v. Nara Chandrababu Naidu & Ors . , the court held that the Chief Minister cannot be ousted in quo warranto from his office as he was duly elected by the people.
Certiorari means “to certify or to be made certain”. This writ is issued by the superior court to the inferior court or public authorities after checking the legality of the proceedings. If the proceedings are found to be bad in law, then the order passed by the courts or the quasi-judicial body or public authorities shall be quashed.
In the case of Nagendra Nath Bora v. Commissioner of Hills (1958), the court held that “mere formal or technical errors” cannot be an adequate ground to issue the writ of certiorari.
In Surya Dev Rai v. Ram Chander Rai & Ors , the court explained the writ of certiorari and its ambit. The court emphasized that while exercising certiorari jurisdiction, it can only be done against an inferior court.
Article 32 gives the power to the individuals to approach the Supreme Court in case of violation of their fundamental rights. For the very same reason, it is called the heart and soul of the Constitution.
A writ is a formal written order issued by a Court having authority to issue such an order.
There are five types of Writs which are Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Quo Warranto and Prohibition
Yes, PILs are construed as a Writ.
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Article-32 and Article-226: Purpose and Distinction
This article is written by Sharat Gopal , studying BA-LLB at Delhi Metropolitan Education, GGSIPU, Delhi. This article mentions about the importance of writs in Articles 32 and 226 of the constitution and between them.
Before discussing the constitutional remedies also known as writs’, we must first familiarize ourselves with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Fundamental Rights as the term itself suggests are the ‘basic rights’ which are ensured to the citizens. These rights are deemed essential for the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of individuals and also to avoid tyrannical form and to grant special rights and protection of rights through various provisions. Merely mentioning provisions does no good, some type of constitutional remedies must be provided, this is when writs come into the picture. Whenever an individual’s basic rights are infringed by an administrative authority, constitutional writs come into the picture.
To protect the basic rights, the Indian Constitution, under Articles 32 and 226, provides the right to approach the Supreme Court or High Court, respectively, to any person whose Fundamental Right has been violated.
What is a writ?
Writs are the constitutional remedies available to the citizens of a nation when their fundamental rights are infringed. Writs are basically official orders issued by a court. Any warrant, orders, directions, and so on, issued by the supreme court and or the High court are called writs.
There are 5 types of writs, that are as follows-
- Habeas Corpus – ‘Habeas Corpus” is a Latin word which means “to have the body”. If a person is detained unlawfully then any person from his behalf can file a writ of “Habeas Corpus” in High Court using article 226 and using article 32 in Supreme Court. The main purpose of this writ is to provide an immediate remedy to a person who has been detained without lawful justification. A lawful detention also becomes unlawful if the detained person is not presented before the magistrate within 24 hrs of his arrest.
By the adoption of the 42 nd amendment and with the judgement of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, the scope of Habeas Corpus was increased.
- Mandamus – the term “Mandamus” means, “to order”. It is a writ which is issued in a superior court against a person or a public authority to do any act or forbid to do an act, which they are legally bounded to do so. The nature of duty must of public nature and not of private nature. The main purpose of this writ is to limit the powers of public authorities and make them work in their limited powers. There are various conditions for using this writ,-
- There must be a legal right of the petitioner.
- The legal duty must be imposed on an authority and the fulfilment of duty must be of importance in nature. The duty imposed must be statutory in nature which is either given by the constitution of India, or any law, but should not be of contractual in nature. If the authority abuses or exceeds the power given, then the writ of mandamus can be filed.
- Writ of mandamus can only be issued in good faith and not for taking personal grudges.
- Prohibition – the term prohibition means to “prohibit”. This writ is issued by the High Court or Supreme Court to lower courts or other quasi-judicial authorities to stop further proceeding of a matter which exceeds their jurisdiction. This writ is used to keep lower courts within their prescribed limits. Earlier this writ was only used on judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. But now it is used even on administrative bodies. The scope of this writ has been increased from the past.
- Certiorari – the Writ of certiorari is similar to the writ of prohibition. Certiorari is available at a later stage and prohibition is available at an earlier stage. The writ of certiorari is issued by the Supreme Court or High Court to inferior court to quash the order already passed by a lower court. As it not only quash their order but also passes that matter to themself. Hence, it is not only preventive in nature but also curative in nature.
- Quo-Warranto – the term “Quo- Warranto” means “by what warrant?” This writ is issued to refrain a person who is acting in a public office which he is not allowed to. It is used to prevent a person from illegally using a public office.
These are the 5 writs that can be issued in both the Supreme Court and High Courts.
DR B R Ambedkar called article 32 as the “heart and soul of the constitution”. The reason behind calling Article-32 as “the heart and soul of the constitution” was, he believed that just by providing fundamental rights without proper machinery for their enforcement they will be a useless action. Article 32 guarantees that, if any person’s fundamental rights are infringed then he/she could approach the Supreme Court for remedy. This article provides a quick and immediate remedy for enforcement of fundamental rights. Using this article, any person could directly approach the Supreme Court for seeking remedy, without requiring undergoing through the dilatory procedure from lower to higher courts as in ordinary circumstances.
Article 226 is very similar to article 32, as article 226 also talks about writs. Any person can approach the High Court using article 226, if their fundamental rights or any other right is being infringed. No doubt that the jurisdiction of the high court is very wide, as it can issue writ not only for the infringement of fundamental rights as by supreme court but also for enforcement of any other right as well. The only thing court needs to establish that the party had such right and which has been threatened or illegally invaded.
Difference between Article 32 and Article 226
case law s.
In the case of Aditanar Educational Institution v. Assistant Director of Income-tax (297 I.T.R. 376), Madaras High Court held that relief under Article-226 of the constitution can be granted when there is no other remedy available under the statute and have undisputed facts. And when the High Court found that the disputes mentioned are disputed, it won’t be desirable to deal with those matters using writ petition.
In the case of Daryao v. State of U.P ., it was held that to approach Supreme Court with Writ should not be merely considered as a right, instead, it should be considered as the Supreme Courts duty to protect the fundamental rights of people.
Article-32 of the constitution has very well been said as the heart and soul of the constitution. Till now it has been proved that these Writs mentioned in Article-32 and Article-226 to be filed before Supreme Court and High Court, respectively are the most effective remedy provided in constitution to protect the rights of the individuals.
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Article 32 and Article 226 – Different Articles with Same Motive
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Article 32 and Article 226- Different Articles with Same Motive
Judiciary is known as the safeguard of laws drafted by legislature and it also keeps a check on the abuse of power by either executive or legislature. This is the reason why constitution framers provided judicial independence and judicial review to the Higher Judiciary of our country. There are enough powers given to the judiciary in the Constitution which the judges use from time to time whenever there is any abuse of power by the other to organs of the Government which have been resulted in the violation of constitutional, legal or fundamental rights of a citizen or citizens. In India if we see the hierarchy of Courts, Supreme Court is the apex body whose judgement cannot be challenged anywhere and then come 25 High Courts located in almost each state or one high court in a region holds a jurisdiction of more than one state or union territory and they are known as Courts of Appeal in which judgements of District Courts which are lower in hierarchy are challenged. The responsibility and power of safeguarding a citizen’s rights have been given to the higher judiciary i.e. the Supreme Court and High Courts through Article 32 (for the Supreme Court) and Article 226 (for the High Courts) in the Constitution of India. But if they have same motive how they both are different has been discussed in details below.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India was mentioned by Dr. B R Ambedkar as the “heart and soul of the Constitution” and he was right in his quoting. Article 32 has been given in the Chapter 3rd of the Constitution which is the chapter of Fundamental Rights, those basic rights which are enjoyed by every citizen of this country for a dignified life and even the government or parliament cannot infringe o curb those rights. Article 32 is a fundamental right which is known as Right to Constitutional Remedies and it holds a great importance as it gives power to the Supreme Court to issue writs in those cases where a citizen of India or anyone on his behalf has approached the court through a public interest litigation, seeking remedy or protection for the fundamental rights which are violated by the State or its authorities.
Article 32 (1) gives the right to move to the Supreme Court for the enforcement and claim the fundamental rights which are given under Part III of the Indian Constitution.
Article 32 (2) empowers Supreme Court to issue directions, orders or writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition and Quo Warranto in order to enforce the fundamental rights.
Article 32 (3) gives power to the parliament to issue orders, directions, and writs to any court which is located within the local limits of India.
Article 32(4) states that unless it is provided by the constitution, provisions given under this Article cannot be suspended.
Earlier, only the person aggrieved by the actions of the Government bodies could approach the Supreme Court by submitting a writ petition under Article 32, but with the time and need, the scope of this article widened and now any person can approach the Supreme Court on the behalf of a person or persons whose fundamental rights have been violated. This concept is known as Public Interest Litigation.
Case- Calcutta Gas Case – In this case the Supreme Court held that not only the person convicted or detained in a confinement but any person on his behalf, provided he is not a complete stranger can approach the court for the institution of proceedings to issue writ of habeas corpus for the person to be freed who has been illegally imprisoned.
Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra – Sheela Barse, a journalist wrote a letter to the Supreme Court in which she complained about the custodial violence against the women prisoners who were confined in the jails of Bombay. The Supreme Court treated this letter as a Public Interest Litigation and issued guidelines for ensuring protection against inhumane behaviour, torture and ill treatment of women prisoners in jails.
SP Gupta v. Union of India – The Supreme Court observed in this case that if we want to insist on the traditional rules of locus standi it would mean that we are denying justice to the poor and weaker section of the society and this will be destructive and disastrous for the rules of law. The public authority will become more arbitrary in its nature and will expand its powers beyond the given ones. The advocates were allowed to file the writ petition to challenge the appointment and transfer of Judges of the High Court. This was the case where the Supreme Court of India defined the term ‘public interest litigation’ in the Indian conditions.
The concept of Public Interest Litigation was introduced by Justice PN Bhagwati in the case of Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar , in which Kapila Hingorani; an advocate filed a petition on behalf of Hussainara Khatoon who was a prisoner in the jail of Bihar. The petition was about the condition of the prisoners convicted in the jails of Bihar. Justice PN Bhagwati headed the bench and introduced the relaxation in the rule of locus standi that anyone can file a petition before the court on the behalf of the aggrieved when the aggrieved is not capable of approaching the court and his fundamental rights were violated by the government or its authority. The Supreme Court ordered that free legal aid and speedy hearing should be provided to the 40,000 prisoners and as a result all of them were released from jail.
Even a non citizen can move to Supreme Court by filing a writ petition under Article 32 if his fundamental rights have been violated in India. Not all fundamental rights are given to a non citizen but Article 19 which is Right to Freedom is provided to even a non citizen and if it gets violated, he can approach the Apex Court for safeguarding his rights.
A person can also apply for the infringement of fundamental rights if there is an actual serious threat of violation arises and violation has not taken place.
Supreme Court cannot use his appellate power to interfere with an intra vires order of any inferior tribunal where the question of unconstitutionality cannot arise merely on the ground that the decision is depraved by an error of law which is not evident on the record.
However the Supreme Court discouraged the citizens from approaching the Court directly for violation of Fundamental Rights. If the remedy of moving to High Court is available, one must go there first.
Case – Kamubhai Brahmbhatt v. Gujarat – The Supreme Court observed that if it entertained every writ petition filed directly before it then there will be a massive increase of similar cases and the court will be over burdened. The Court asked the petitioner to first approach the High Court.
This article gives the power to the High Court to exercise its writ jurisdiction when a person approaches it if his legal, constitutional as well as fundamental rights have been violated. This article is much wider in scope as compared to Article 32 in which a person can only approach the Supreme Court when his fundamental rights have been violated but he cannot claim the violation of his constitutional and legal rights.
Article 226 (1) provides that in spite of Article 32, High Court has got the power to issue direction, order or writs, including writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition and Quo Warranto against any action of the government, whether centre or state or local authority who is located within the jurisdiction of that High Court.
Article 226 (2) gives power to the High Court to issue directions, orders or writs against the seat of the government, centre or state or local authority even if it is not located within its local jurisdiction.
Article 226 (3) states that that the (i) When against a party any interim order is issued by high court in way of interim injunction or stay, or any proceedings relating to a petition under Article 226 without (a) giving copy of the petition or copies of all documents of the interim order to such party and (b) giving opportunity to hear.
(ii) And if such party makes an application to the High court for the vacation of such interim order or petition and also furnishes a copy of the application of vacation to the party in whose favour such interim order or petition is made, or to the counsel of the party.
(iii) Then High court shall dispose of the application
within a period of two weeks from the date on which it is received or,
from the date on which the copy of such application is so furnished, whichever date is later
where the High Court is closed on the last day of that period, before the expiry of the next day afterward on which the High Court is open
(iv) and if the application is not so disposed of by the High court, the interim order shall, on the expiry of that period, or, as the case may be, the expiry of the aid next day, will be vacated
Article 226(4) states that the power given to the high court to issue direction, order or writ will not derogate the power given to the Supreme court under Article 32(2).
The High Court will issue a writ even if there is any other remedy available where the jurisdiction is available and there has been denial of natural justice.
Case- Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India- It was held in this case that Article 226 is much wider in scope than Article 32 because it gives power to the Supreme Court to issue orders, directions and writs not only for enforcing fundamental rights but also any other legal right which have been infringed by any statute of the government and those legal rights are as important as fundamental rights.
Detailed Explanation of Writs
Writs have been originally come from the English Legal System of Great Britain. It was adopted and evolved by the United States of America when it added this concept in its constitution as fundamental rights or bill of rights. India took this from the Constitution of USA and included them in the Constitution as a part of fundamental rights and gave the power to both Supreme Court as well as High Courts to issue them whenever there is a violation of fundamental rights by the statute or action of the government. This power is enshrined under Article 32 for Supreme Court and Article 226 for High Courts. However High Court can even issue writs in the cases where the legal rights have been violated.
Case- Smt. Imtiaz Bano v Masood Ahmad Jafri And Ors .- A mother filed a writ petition under Article 226 before the High Court and pleaded to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus as she was deprived from having the custody of her 2 children. The High Court entertained the petition and issued the writ in the favour of the petitioner.
Types of Writs
In the Constitution of India, there are 5 types of writs which a Supreme Court and High Courts can issue. They are:
1 . Habeas Corpus- In Latin it means “to have the body”. It is issued by the Courts when a person has been illegally detained by the police. This writ is known as the most effective remedy available to a detained person. When a petition is filed before the Court pleading to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus, the Court orders the person or authority who has detained the aggrieved to present him before the Court. The detaining authority has to give valid reasons for the detention. If the authority fails to do so, the Court will order that the person detained must be released immediately.
This writ will only work if the restraint or arrest is unlawful, if the arrest is justified then the Court will not issue an order under this writ. Also if the order of arrest is made by the Court itself, this writ cannot be issued.
Not only the family members or the detained person himself but anyone from the society, even a stranger is allowed to file the petition for issuance of this writ before the Courts, only condition is petition must be in public interest.
The application for the writ cannot be made before the different judges of the same court. If one judge has rejected it and the application is then made before the judge and both belongs to the same court then the application will be rejected because of the principle of Res Judicata.
Case- Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration- The petitioner, a prisoner in Tihar Central Jail, Delhi, against whom a death sentence was passed, wrote a letter to the Supreme Court about the inhumane behaviour and torture on both physical and mental basis by the head warden against one fellow prisoner, Prem Chand. He alleged that the jailor blackmailed the family members of the victim either to pay him money or he would continue the torture and even forcefully inserted the iron rod into the anus of the victim. The Court treated this letter as a Public Interest Litigation and issued guidelines for the jails about how the prisoners should be kept and sent two lawyers as amicus curiae for confirming the claims. They both investigated and confirmed that all the claims made by the petitioner were true. The Supreme Court held that prisoners also have fundamental rights like Article 14, 19 and 21 and so they could not be treated with such inhumane behaviour and Section 56 of the Prison Act was abused by the head warden and so he was held liable for his actions.
2. Mandamus- Mandamus is also one of the most important writs in which superior courts give order to inferior courts to act accordingly or abstain from doing something. An order can also be passed against an inferior tribunal, board, corporation or any type of administrative authority. This writ makes a person who holds a certain public office to fulfil his duty which he fails to do so. For example, a Judge has a duty to follow the principles of natural justice and if fails to follow the, the court higher in hierarchy can order him to fulfil his duty in a righteous manner.
Writ of mandamus cannot be issued against a private person, only the State and the offices come under it can be ordered under it.
Case- Bhopal Sugar Industries Ltd. v. Income Tax Officer, Bhopal- The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal gave clear directions to the respondent Income Tax Officer through its final order. The respondent still denied following the orders given by the tribunal. Supreme Court observed that the respondent had a compulsory duty to follow the directions issued by the tribunal and if he fails or refuse to follow them it will result in grave injustice. The Court issued writ of Mandamus and directed the officer to follow the orders given by the Tribunal.
It is to be noted that writ of mandamus is a discretionary power of the Court and is not an enforceable right of the petitioner and Court can refuse to issue the writ in some cases.
3. Certiorari – This writ is different from other writs because of it corrective nature. A superior court under the writ of Certiorari issues an order to the lower court when the lower court has given an order or passed a judgement which has some fundamental error in the procedure and if the lower court has violated the principles of natural justice. If the Superior Court finds out that there is some error in the order, it will quash the order. Only the body or person having legal authority can be ordered under this writ. Only the person aggrieved by the wrongful actions of the inferior court can approach the superior court for the issuance of certiorari and no one else on his behalf can move to the Court.
4. Quo Warranto- This writ is issued by the courts against a private person when he holds office on which he has no right. Quo Warranto in Latin means “by what authority”. It is seen as an effective means to prevent someone from taking over public offices. This is also a discretionary writ and the court is not bound to issue it. The office must be a public office and if it is a private office, the writ cannot be issued.
5. Prohibition- This is the extra ordinary writ rarely used by the Superior Courts to order the inferior courts or tribunals to stop them from passing an order or judgement on the ground that the inferior doesn’t have a jurisdiction to do so. If the inferior court or tribunal still passes an order, that order will be considered as invalid by the superior court. Proceedings must be going on in order to issue this writ.
Difference between Article 32 and Article 226 in a nutshell
Type of right-.
•Article 32 is a fundamental right
•Article 226 is a constitutional right
•Article 32 is narrow in scope as it can only be issued for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights
•Article 226 is wider in scope as it can be issued for the issuance of Fundamental, Constitutional as well as Legal Rights.
•Article 32can be suspended at the time of emergency
•Even at the time of emergency Article 226 cannot be suspended
•Article 32 empowers the Supreme Court to issue writs all over India. For this reason Supreme Court has broader territorial jurisdiction.
•Where as Article 226 empowers the High Courts to issue writs in its local jurisdiction only. Therefore this is narrower in scope of territorial jurisdiction.
•Article 32 cannot be refused by the Supreme Court as it is a fundamental right.
•Article 226 is a discretionary power and totally depends on the discretion of the High Court either to issue the writs or not.
Both the Articles are different in nature but have a same motive of safeguarding the rights of the citizens whenever the State or any of its authorities try to abuse its power and try to infringe the rights of the citizens. Both are wider in scope in some cases as Article 32 allows Supreme Court in any part of India where as Article 226 allows High Court to issue writs only within its local jurisdiction. Similarly Article3 2 can be issued only for the enforcement of fundamental rights whereas Article 226 can be issued for the enforcement of fundamental, constitutional and legal rights. Thus both are in short for the purpose of the betterment of the citizens of the country.
Author: Samiksha Mehta, Invertis University/ Student ( LL.B 3rd year
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Why is Article 32 of the Constitution of India Regarded as the Heart and Soul of the Indian Constitution?
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Dr. B.R. Ambedkar once said, “If I was asked to name any particular article in this Constitution as the most important — an article without which this Constitution would be a nullity — I could not refer to any other article except this one ( Article 32 ). It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it. This article examines the Indian approach towards this provision, and whether it is truly relevant for the Indian scenario.
Article 32 in the Indian Constitution is the protector of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India. It is a mechanism or an instrument through which an individual whose fundamental rights have been infringed can approach the Apex Court i.e. Supreme Court of India to seek remedy as well as enforcement of these rights. Thus, Article 32 makes the Supreme Court both the guarantor and the defender of ‘ Fundamental Rights ’.
Why is Article 32 Regarded as the ‘Heart and Soul of the Constitution’?
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution provides remedies to individuals whose fundamental rights have been violated. The article is included in Part III of the Indian Constitution along with other rights like the right to life and personal liberty, right to free speech and expression, etc. and if any of these other rights are violated, an individual has a right to approach the Supreme Court for enforcement of his/her rights.
When article 32 was introduced, there was a debate in the Constituent Assembly (now NITI Aayog) whether article 32 can be suspended or limited during the period of emergency, and then it was decided that the article cannot be suspended except during the period of emergency.
Thus, Article 32 is the protector of the rights of the citizens of India and is regarded as the ‘ heart and soul of the constitution ’.
Scope and Ambit of Article 32
Article 32, within its scope and ambit, has four provisions which are as follows: it empowers the individual with the right to move to the Supreme Court if his or her fundamental rights, mentioned within Part III of the Indian Constitution, are violated. Moreover, it provides the Supreme Court with the power to issue directions, orders, writs including the writ like:
- Habeas Corpus : Habeas Corpus is a Latin term which means “To have the body”. If a person is illegally detained by authority then that authority has to produce that illegally detained person within 24 hours of his or her arrest.
- Mandamus : Mandamus means “We Command”. It is a command issued by the court to a public official asking him to perform his official duties that he has failed or refused to perform or has wrongfully performed.
- Quo Warranto : Quo Warranto means “by what authority or warrants”. It is issued by the court to inquire into the legality of the claim of a person to a public office. Hence, it prevents illegal usurpation of public office by a person.
- Prohibition : Prohibition means “to forbid”. It is issued by a higher court to a lower court or tribunal to prevent the latter from exceeding its jurisdiction or usurping a jurisdiction that it does not possess.
- Certiorari : Certiorari means “to certify”. It is an order issued by the superior court to an inferior court or tribunal exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions to investigate and decide the legality and validity of the order passed by it.
Under this clause, parliament may empower any other court to exercise within the local limits of its jurisdiction all or of the powers exercised by the Supreme Court in clause (1) and (2). This clause talks about when Article 32 can be suspended. The rights guaranteed under Article 32 can only be suspended except as provided by the Constitution .
Cases Related to Article 32
Article 32, as stated above, is regarded as the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution and also the protector and saviour of the rights of Indian citizens but here a question pops up that is “whether Article 32 is a part of the Basic Structure Doctrine?”
The Basic Doctrine was evolved by the Supreme Court in its judgment of the case of Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala , AIR 1973 SC 1461 in the year 1973 which states that the parliament could amend any part of the Constitution so long as it did not alter or amend the basic structure or essential features of the Constitution.
Now coming back to our question of whether Article 32 is a part of the basic structure then the answer to this is ‘Yes’. For the first time, in the case of L Chandra Kumar v. Union of India and Others, AIR 1997 SC 1125, the Supreme Court declared that Article 32 was an integral and essential part of the Indian Constitution. The same thing was again reiterated in the case of S P Sampath Kumar v. Union of India [AIR 1987 SC 386].
During the period of emergency in the year 1975, a case came up by the name of A.D.M. Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla, AIR 1976 SC 1207 , where the Supreme Court held that the right to constitutional remedies enshrined under Article 32 cannot be enforced during the period of emergency.
With the winning of the Janta Party in the 1977 elections, they wanted to restore the situation of law and order which was there before the emergency and thus, the 44 Constitutional Amendment, 1976 was passed under which the President of India can suspend the right of the individual to move to Supreme Court for enforcement of their Fundamental Rights under Article 32 during National emergency under Article 359 except Article 20 and 21. It also altered Article 359 to say that during an emergency one could approach the Supreme Court to issue habeas corpus writs.
Critical Analysis of the Recent Trends Relating to Article 32
The right to move to the Supreme Court under Article 32 has seen a decline since the Supreme Court is now not entertaining petitions which are being filed by the petitioners. The Chief Justice of India, S.A. Bobde, had made a statement stating that they are trying to cut down the jurisdiction of Article 32.
The statement made by the Chief Justice of India was instead of the numerous petitions filed under Article 32 and is asking the petitioners to approach the High Courts rather than approaching the Supreme Court directly under Article 32 since they are discouraging such petitions .
But the main question which lies here is “Whether the Supreme Court can discourage the petitions filed under Article 32?” The same issue was raised in the case of Romesh Thappar v. the State of Madras, AIR 1950 SC 124 where the Advocate General of Madras raised an objection to the petition filed under Article 32 and argued that as per the procedure practised in the U.S., the petitioner should first have approached the appropriate High Court under Article 226 and then would have approached the Supreme Court thereafter.
During that time, the Supreme Court rejected this argument and stated that “Article 32 provides a “guaranteed” remedy for the enforcement of those rights, and this remedial right is itself made a fundamental right by being included in Part III. This Court has thus constituted the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights, and it cannot, consistently with the responsibility so laid upon it, refuse to entertain applications seeking protection against infringements of such rights.” This becomes a settled law until decades when in the year 2003, in the case of Union of India v. Paul Manickam, (2003) 8 SCC 342 , the apex court held that if Article 32 was being invoked to approach the court directly, then the petitioner needs to satisfy that as to why the High Court cannot be approached in such matter. If the petitioner fails to satisfy why they haven’t approached the High Court first, then filing of such petitions under Article 32 should be discouraged.
Although the Supreme Court wants to discourage such petitions under Article 32 then some clear grounds or clarifications as to why such petitions are being discouraged should be made. Also, the Supreme Court has not provided any proper reasoning behind not following the precedent established in the Romesh Thappar case, and thus there is, for now, no valid legal rationale as to why they are being discouraged.
As I see it, the Supreme Court should set up some concrete reasons as to why Article 32 petitions are being discouraged and a decade’s long precedent set in the Romesh Thappar case is being broken now. Nonetheless, Article 32, time and again, has acted as a guardian and a saviour of fundamental rights, and thus, I agree with what Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said that without Article 32, the Indian Constitution is null and void and thus is regarded as the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution.
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The Significance and Scope of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution:
Article 32 of the Indian Constitution is considered one the most important articles when it comes to the enforcement of the rights of an individual. It gives rights to an individual to seek justice in a court when they feel that their rights have been infringed or ‘unduly deprived’ . The supreme court has the power to execute the rights that have been bestowed upon an individual by the constitution.
Under Article 32, parliament can also entrust the exercise of the authority of the Supreme Court to any other tribunal, providing that it is within its jurisdiction. And until there is a constitutional amendment, it is not possible to suspend the protections secured by this article. Therefore, from this article, we may conclude that an assured right is guaranteed to persons for the protection of fundamental rights as the statute grants a person the right to immediately reach the Supreme Court without pursuing a longer procedure by going to the lower courts first as the primary object of Writ Jurisdiction under Article 32 is to enforce fundamental rights.
The article contains other constitutional rights in Part III of the Constitution, including democracy, freedom of speech and expression, life and personal liberty, and freedom of religion. Only if any of these fundamental rights are violated can an individual, under Article 32, directly approach the Supreme Court.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has said, “If I was asked to name any particular article in this Constitution as the most important — an article without which this Constitution would be a nullity — I could not refer to any other article except this one (Article 32). It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it” .
Writs under article 32:
The high court and the supreme court can be approached in case of violation of fundamental rights. There are five types of writs that can be issued in case of violation of fundamental rights, they are:
1) Habeas Corpus: This means that ‘produce the body’, the main purpose of this writ is to claim against the unlawful detention of an individual. The purpose of it is to protect an individual from unlawful harm caused by the administrative system
2) Quo Warranto: It means ‘By what means’. This writ shall be invoked in public service cases and shall be given to preclude people to whom he is not entitled from participating in public office.
3) Mandamus: It literally means ‘We Command’. This writ is provided for the proper execution of compulsory and exclusively ministerial duties and is issued to a lower court or government official by a superior court.
4) Certiorari: It literally means to be certified. It is provided where the power is wrongfully exercised and the judgment of the case is focused on it.
5) Prohibition: That is a writ that orders a lower court to avoid doing anything that the statute forbids it to do. The primary aim is to prohibit an inferior court from violating its authority or behaving in violation of the provisions of Natural Justice.
Scope of Article 32:
The scope of Article 32 has been established by case laws over a period of time. A bench of seven judges had unambiguously declared, in the case of L.Chandra Kumar v Union Of India and Others, that Article 32 was an intrinsic and necessary function of the Constitution and constituted its fundamental structure. Likewise, in a decision In the case of S.P.Sampath Kumar v. Union Of India, it was found that the powers of the Supreme Court under Article 32 formed part of the constitutional framework of the Constitution. In the ADM Jabalpur vs Shivakant Shukla case, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled during the 1975 Emergency that the right to constitutional redress pursuant to Article 32 must remain suspended during a national emergency. Citizens were powerless to obtain redress to their human rights compliance. More recently The Supreme Court of India bench, led by the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, acknowledged that under Article 32 of the Constitution it is "trying to discourage" persons from filing petitions. The observation came at the hearing of a petition demanding the release of journalist Siddique Kappan, who, on his way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, was arrested along with three others to report on an alleged gangrape and murder.
1) Alankrita Singh, (2018). “Article 32 under the constitution of India-right to constitutional remedies”, iPleaders, 24 July Available at: https://blog.ipleaders.in/article-32-constitution-india/
2) Revati Krishnan, (2020). “What is article which Ambedkar was ’heart’ and ‘soul’ of constitution”, The Print, 17 November Available at: https://theprint.in/theprint-essential/what-is-article-32-which-ambedkar-said-was-heart-and-soul-of-constitution/546050/
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Explained: What have been the Supreme Court’s recent observations on Article 32?
Article 32 affirms the right to move the supreme court if a fundamental right is violated. how does this provision of the constitution define this right, and how has the sc interpreted it over the years.
On Monday, a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde observed that it is “trying to discourage” individuals from filing petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution. The observation came during the hearing of a petition seeking the release of journalist Siddique Kappan , who was arrested with three others while on their way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on an alleged gangrape and murder.
What is Article 32?
It is one of the fundamental rights listed in the Constitution that each citizen is entitled. Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, or affirms the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution. It states that the Supreme Court “shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part”. The right guaranteed by this Article “shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution”.
The Article is included in Part III of the Constitution with other fundamental rights including to Equality, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Life and Personal Liberty, and Freedom of Religion. Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
During the Constituent Assembly debates in December 1948, a discussion on this fundamental right (in the draft, it is referred to as Article 25), Dr B R Ambedkar had said, “If I was asked to name any particular Article in this Constitution as the most important — an Article without which this Constitution would be a nullity — I could not refer to any other Article except this one. It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it…” He said the rights invested with the Supreme Court through this Article could not be taken away unless the Constitution itself is amended and hence it was “one of the greatest safeguards that can be provided for the safety and security of the individual”.
Others in the drafting committee also said that since it gives a person the right to approach the Supreme Court as a remedy if fundamental rights are violated, “it is a right fundamental to all the fundamental rights” guaranteed under the Constitution.
The Constituent Assembly debated whether fundamental rights including this one could be suspended or limited during an Emergency. The Article cannot be suspended except during the period of Emergency.
Can High Courts be approached in cases of violation of fundamental rights?
Both the High Courts and the Supreme Court can be approached for violation or enactment of fundamental rights through five kinds of writs:
* Habeas corpus (related to personal liberty in cases of illegal detentions and wrongful arrests)
* Mandamus — directing public officials, governments, courts to perform a statutory duty;
* Quo warranto — to show by what warrant is a person holding public office;
* Prohibition — directing judicial or quasi-judicial authorities to stop proceedings which it has no jurisdiction for; and
* Certiorari — re-examination of an order given by judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative authorities.
In civil or criminal matters, the first remedy available to an aggrieved person is that of trial courts, followed by an appeal in the High Court and then the Supreme Court. When it comes to violation of fundamental rights, an individual can approach the High Court under Article 226 or the Supreme Court directly under Article 32. Article 226, however, is not a fundamental right like Article 32.
What have been the Supreme Court’s recent observations on Article 32?
In the case of the journalist Siddique Kappan, the court asked why the petitioners could not go to the High Court. It has sought responses from the Centre and the UP government, and will hear the case later this week.
In another case last week invoking Article 32, filed by a Nagpur-based man arrested in three cases for alleged defamatory content against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and others, the same Bench directed him to approach the High Court first.
Relief under Article 32 was also sought in a petition filed by Telugu poet Varavara Rao ’s wife, P Hemalatha, against the conditions of his detention in jail since 2018. The Supreme Court directed the Bombay High Court to expedite the hearing on a bail plea filed on medical grounds, pending since September. It observed that once a competent court had taken cognisance, it was under the authority of that court to decide on the matter.
In another matter, the Bench of CJI Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian had issued a contempt notice to the Assistant Secretary of the Maharashtra Assembly who, in a letter to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, had questioned him for approaching the top court against the breach-of-privilege notice. The court had then said that the right to approach the Supreme Court under Article 32 is itself a fundamental right and that “there is no doubt that if a citizen of India is deterred in any case from approaching this Court in exercise of his right under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, it would amount to a serious and direct interference in the administration of justice in the country”. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
And what have been its observations over the years?
In Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras (1950), the Supreme Court observed that Article 32 provides a “guaranteed” remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights. “This Court is thus constituted the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights, and it cannot, consistently with the responsibility so laid upon it, refuse to entertain applications seeking protection against infringements of such rights,” the court observed.
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During the Emergency, in Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur vs S S Shukla (1976), the Supreme Court had said that the citizen loses his right to approach the court under Article 32.
Constitutional experts say that it is eventually at the discretion of the Supreme Court and each individual judge to decide whether an intervention is warranted in a case, which could also be heard by the High Court first.
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This article first appeared in the print edition on November 18, 2020 under the title ‘Article 32 and Supreme Court’.
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- Published: 04 September 2023
Improvements in naturalistic speech-in-noise comprehension in middle-aged and older adults after 3 weeks of computer-based speechreading training
- Raffael Schmitt ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-9556-8325 1 , 2 , 3 ,
- Martin Meyer 4 , 5 , 6 &
- Nathalie Giroud 1 , 2 , 3 , 7
npj Science of Learning volume 8 , Article number: 32 ( 2023 ) Cite this article
- Human behaviour
Problems in understanding speech in noisy environments are characteristic for age-related hearing loss. Since hearing aids do not mitigate these communication problems in every case, potential alternatives in a clinical rehabilitation plan need to be explored. This study investigates whether a computer-based speechreading training improves audiovisual speech perception in noise in a sample of middle-aged and older adults ( N = 62, 47–83 years) with 32 participants completing a speechreading training and 30 participants of an active control group completing a foreign language training. Before and after training participants performed a speech-in-noise task mimicking real-life communication settings with participants being required to answer a speaker’s questions. Using generalized linear mixed-effects models we found a significant improvement in audiovisual speech perception in noise in the speechreading training group. This is of great relevance as these results highlight the potential of a low-cost and easy-to-implement intervention for a profound and widespread problem as speech-in-noise comprehension impairment.
Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory impairment in older adults 1 with its prevalence being expected to grow with the ageing of the global population 2 . A common strategy in aural rehabilitation is fitting patients with hearing aids. However, despite tremendous technological advances in recent years, hearing aids do not provide relief in every clinical case of hearing loss 3 . It is to be expected, for example, that in an older adult with speech-in-noise comprehension problems whose hearing threshold is normal, amplification of the acoustic signal will not produce the same results as in a person experiencing the same problems due to poor audibility. For these very cases other interventions are needed, with research showing a shift towards training-based rehabilitation measures 4 .
Leaving hearing loss untreated has serious consequences: in addition to communication problems, which are in themselves disabling for the affected person, hearing loss shows a link with depression 5 , reduced quality of life 6 , and increased risk for dementia 7 . Any form of intervention that counteracts this risk factor can therefore be considered a relevant support for healthy aging.
Besides the acoustic signal, listeners rely on additional sensory cues such as information transported by the interlocutor’s face—information that gains importance in certain situations. When the acoustic signal is degraded by internal (e.g., hearing loss) or external factors (e.g., noise) seeing a speaker’s face can aid speech perception both in normal hearing and hearing-impaired adults (e.g., 8 , 9 , 10 ). It is therefore not surprising that training the use of such visual cues through speechreading training depicts a complementary measure in some clinical rehabilitation plans 11 . Speechreading trainings aim to focus the listeners attention to visual speech cues and complement the degraded acoustic signal. However, research to date paints an ambiguous picture of the effectiveness of such interventions, which is mainly due to methodological factors. Studies addressing potential benefits of speechreading trainings in adults are limited to small sample sizes, lack an adequate control group, or use outcome measures unlikely to be transferable to everyday listening performance 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 .
Taking these drawbacks into account, the main goal of the present study was to investigate whether a self-guided computer-based speechreading training improves audiovisual speech perception in noise in a sample of 62 middle-aged and older adults with varying degrees of hearing loss (i.e., pure-tone average (PTA) over 0.5–8 kHz between 10 and 83 dB HL). For this purpose, we compared speech comprehension in noise between a group completing three weeks of speechreading training (ST) and an active control group (AC) that trained a foreign language for three weeks. Due to its indisputable superiority over a passive control, we included an AC in our study. In addition to test-retest effects, the AC controls for possible effects that may arise from adherence to a training schedule and, if cleverly selected, for potential expectancy effects (e.g., 16 ,). Controlling for the latter is however complicated, as participants must receive an intervention that is as close as possible to that of the experimental group and has credible positive effects on the outcome of interest. This was the main reason the AC went through foreign language training as the cover story proclaimed that the study’s aim was to investigate possible effects of language training for audiovisual speech perception in noise.
At pre- and post-training, participants performed an audiovisual speech perception in noise task that served as primary outcome measure. As opposed to previous studies, we refrained from using commonly used tasks such as sentence repetition, target word detection, or consonant identification, as our aim was to measure speech comprehension in a way that mimics real-word communication where comprehending the meaning of an utterance is paramount. For this purpose, participants saw a female speaker on screen that asked questions one could encounter in everyday life. Participants were instructed to give an answer vocally into a microphone that clearly indicated whether they understood the question or not. Complementary to the objectively measured speech comprehension, we assessed participants’ subjective hearing by means of questionnaires to capture potential training effects in self-perceived everyday listening effort and abilities. To control for potential confounders, participants completed cognitive tasks measuring visual working memory and processing speed, as these two capacities are considered to be key predictors of audiovisual speech comprehension 17 .
In summary, the present study investigates the effect of a speechreading training in a sample of middle-aged and older adults using realistic listening conditions being more representative of real-life communication. We hypothesize that speechreading training has a positive effect, which is reflected in an improvement in audiovisual speech perception in noise and subjectively rated hearing abilities.
Using Welch’s t -tests we compared sample characteristics between the two groups to ensure an adequate match. Groups did not differ significantly in terms of PTA ( t (57.22) = 0.38, p = 0.708), training intensity ( t (55.78) = 1.77, p = 0.082), visual working memory ( t (57.45) = − 1.28, p = 0.206), or processing speed ( t (58.97) = 0.11, p = 0.914). However, the AC was significantly older than the ST group ( t (59.99) = 2.15, p = 0.035). Since we included age as a covariate in all subsequent analyses, we argue that potential confounding effects are mitigated. Note that although the magnitude of the effect for training intensity is comparable to the effect of age (i.e., Cohen’s d for Welch’s t -test: d Age = 0.55; d TrainingIntensity = 0.45), we did not include training intensity in subsequent analyses. Firstly, we wanted to avoid over-specified regression models, and secondly, the measured training intensity for AC is only an approximation of the actual training duration (see section Language training ). Summary statistics are listed in Table 1 and plotted in Fig. 1 .
a Hearing threshold for frequencies from 0.5 to 8 kHz. Each line represents an individual participant. The grand average hearing threshold is marked as dotted line. b Pure tone average (PTA), c age, d training intensity, and cognitive abilities in e visual working memory and f processing speed for each group. T-statistics are shown at the bottom of each plot. Each dot represents an individual participant. Thick lines inside boxplots mark the median. AC active control, ST speechreading training.
No significant predictor for visual enhancement
We then investigated the relationship between visual enhancement (VE) (Fig. 2 ) and several variables. Using multiple regression analysis, none of the predictors showed a significant association with VE (PTA, β = 1.81, 95% CI[−4.13, 7.76], p = 0.544; age, β = −5.07, 95% CI[−11.42, 1.28], p = 0.115; visual working memory, β = 0.82, 95% CI[−4.66, 6.30], p = 0.767; processing speed, β = 0.09, 95% CI[−5.56, 5.74], p = 0.975) (Supplementary Fig. 1 ).
The average comprehension scores are shown for both audio-only and audiovisual. Grand averages are depicted above the two dotted lines for the audio-only and the audiovisual condition. Each dot represents an individual participant. VE visual enhancement.
Speechreading training improves audiovisual speech perception in noise.
Using generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMMs) on single-trial data, we found a significant training effect, with the ST group improving significantly from pre- to post-training in the audiovisual (AV) condition. As indicated by the significant three-way interaction between condition, session, and group (Δ Χ 2 (4) = 13.62, p = 0.009), this effect was only present in the ST group and only for the AV but not the audio-only (A-only) condition (Table 2 ; Fig. 3 ). Although not of primary interest, the variance estimates of the random effects in Table 2 suggest that the between-item variance (i.e., τ 00 item ) explains a large portion of the total variance. This underlines the importance of accounting for item variability in the random effects structure when naturalistic stimuli are used.
Model predictions for the significant three-way interaction between condition, session, and group from the generalized linear mixed-effects model. The speechreading training group shows an improvement from pre- to post-training in the audiovisual condition. Bars depict 95% confidence intervals.
As often seen in clinical trials, baseline and change scores are inherently correlated 18 —a circumstance also present in our data. As can be seen in Figs. 4 and 5 (and Supplementary Table 2 ), participants improving from pre- to post-training in AV (i.e., learners ) scored significantly lower at pre-training compared to participants who showed no change or even deteriorated in their performance (i.e., non-learners ). We complemented the initial GLMM with further analyses to assure that differences in pre-training scores did not confound the observed training effects in ST. To do so, we compared the scores obtained at pre-training for AV between AC and ST. We reran the GLMM described in Table 2 but changed from effect to treatment coding with “AV” in condition, “pre-training” in session, and “AC” in group as reference levels. This way, the main effect of group could be interpreted as difference between AC and ST in AV at pre-training. Indeed, the two groups did not significantly differ at pre-training (OR = 0.75, 95% CI[0.45, 1.25], p = 0.271) (Fig. 5 and Supplementary Table 3 ) suggesting that baseline differences in AV did not pose a potentially confounding factor.
The average audiovisual comprehension scores at pre-training are shown for both learners and non-learners. Learners and non-learners differed significantly in the pre-training score in both active control and speechreading training group. Results from a generalized linear mixed-effects model suggesting learners to perform worse at pre-training than non-learners are depicted at the bottom of the right plot. Each dot represents an individual participant.
Model predictions for performance differences in audiovisual speech comprehension at pre-training for ( a ) learners and non-learners and ( b ) active control and speechreading training group. Learners showed a significantly lower score at pre-training than non-learners. This difference was not significant between active control and speechreading training group, suggesting that baseline differences did not pose a bias in the observed training effect. Bars depict 95% confidence intervals. L learners, NL non-learners, AC active control, ST speechreading training.
In a further step, we explored whether other variables might underly the observed training effects in the ST group. Using multiple regression, we determined whether the individual learning rate was modulated by PTA, age, hearing aid use, training intensity, visual working memory, or processing speed. Although information gets lost by averaging trial-level data to form a mean learning rate, we chose this analytic approach as this way variables could be tested in one single model. Otherwise, a model would have had to be estimated for each individual variable with the interaction between the respective variable and session. None of the variables showed a significant association with learning rate (PTA, β = −0.91, 95% CI[−7.99, 6.18], p = 0.794; age, β = 0.29, 95% CI[−6.99, 7.56], p = 0.936; hearing aid use, β = 2.49, 95% CI[−5.98, 10.96], p = 0.550; training intensity, β = 2.18, 95% CI[−4.46, 8.82], p = 0.505; visual working memory, β = −1.60, 95% CI[−6.77, 3.58], p = 0.531; processing speed, β = −1.42, 95% CI[−7.83, 4.99], p = 0.653) (Supplementary Fig. 2 ).
Speechreading training does not improve subjective hearing
In a next step, we investigated whether the observed training effects would translate to subjectively perceived hearing abilities in everyday life. Using GLMMs with a beta distribution, the potential training effect, depicted by the interaction between session and group, was not significant—neither for the perceived listening effort (Δ Χ 2 (1) = 2.92, p = 0.087) (Fig. 6 ; Table 3 ) nor the speech, spatial, and hearing qualities (Δ Χ 2 (1) = 3.49, p = 0.062) (Fig. 6 ; Table 4 ).
Model predictions for the non-significant two-way interaction between session and group from the generalized linear mixed-effects models. The speechreading training group did not show a significant improvement in subjective hearing from pre- to post-training, neither in ( a ) the Listening Effort Questionnaire nor ( b ) the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale. Bars depict 95% confidence intervals. LE Listening Effort Questionnaire, SSQ Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale.
Significant association between objective and subjective hearing
Corroborating the results from a previous study 8 , the models showed that PTA was a significant predictor, both for listening effort (OR = 1.55, 95% CI[1.32, 1.81], p < 0.001) and the speech, spatial, and hearing qualities (OR = 0.75, 95% CI[0.65, 0.86], p < 0.001) (Tables 3 , 4 and Fig. 7 ). A higher PTA (i.e., a higher level of hearing loss) was associated with increased self-perceived listening effort and lower self-perceived hearing qualities in daily life.
Model predictions for the significant relationship between objectively measured hearing (PTA) and subjective hearing from the generalized linear mixed-effects models. PTA significantly modulates subjective hearing, both in ( a ) LE and ( b ) SSQ. Shaded areas depict 95% confidence intervals. Each dot represents an individual participant. LE Listening Effort Questionnaire, SSQ Speech, Spatial and Hearing Qualities.
Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory impairment in older adults and its prevalence will continue to grow with the aging of western societies 1 . Although hearing aids have made tremendous technological advances in recent years, they do not provide relief in every clinical case of hearing loss 3 . The use of other strategies such as speechreading trainings could provide a valuable complement in an auditory rehabilitation plan. In the current study we investigated whether a self-guided speechreading training improves audiovisual speech perception in noise in a sample of middle-aged and older adults. For this purpose, we compared data from a sample of 32 participants completing three weeks of computer-based speechreading training and an active control with 30 participants learning a foreign language. Pre- and post-training, participants completed a speech-in-noise comprehension task using sentences mimicking everyday communication situations and answered questions about their subjectively perceived hearing abilities.
Using generalized linear mixed-effects models our analyses revealed a significant improvement in speech comprehension in noise in the speechreading training group for the AV condition only. This is an important finding as it underscores the potential of an inexpensive support tool for adults with communication problems. The relevance of treating these problems that arise in older age is underscored by the proposed link between hearing loss and the increased risk for dementia 7 . Any form of intervention that counteracts this risk factor is a relevant support for healthy aging.
Our finding is in line with previous studies showing positive effects of speechreading trainings 12 , 14 , 15 . Embedding our results in the existing literature is however difficult as most of these studies focused on training restricted to visual stimuli (i.e., no audio stream was presented during the training phase) and measured performance in isolated viseme consonant recognition 12 , 14 , 15 . Although some studies did use speech perception in noise as outcome measure 13 , 15 , methodological factors make direct comparisons with our results difficult. Apart from the small sample sizes the sentence material used to measure speech perception by those previous studies was either partially presented repeatedly to the same subjects 13 or the entire test set was used at each measurement time point 15 possibly biasing the results. Furthermore, the tasks used required participants to repeat key words from the sentences heard. Our task on the other hand required participants to grasp the gist of the sentence—a central factor of successful everyday communication. It should be mentioned that no other variables modulated the learning rate. However, future research should focus on possible covariates that have an impact on learning success, as this may serve as important information for clinicians to make an informed decision about the use of such a speechreading training with their patients.
In contrast to the performance in speech comprehension, the training had no significant effect on subjective hearing. Although only conjectural, this could underline the robustness of the effects found. In other words, it could be a possible indication that expectancy effects in the ST group might not have had an impact on the outcome measured.
The ultimate goal of intervention studies is to causally attribute the outcome of interest to the treatment with randomized controlled trials being considered the gold standard 19 . In contradiction to these guidelines, we decided on using a between-group design at the expense of the highest level of evidence possible. As we wanted to maximize participants’ motivation to adhere to the prescribed training intensity and as they should solve the training tasks to the best of their ability, we refrained from using a randomized group assignment. Another possibility for training studies are cross-over trials where the participant receives all treatments—in the current study being language and speechreading training—and therefore serves as his or her own control 20 . As with randomized controlled trials we decided against this kind of study design as we wanted to prevent participants from having to do a training they did not want to do and therefore prevent differences in motivation to bias the results. Furthermore, as solid knowledge is lacking in this field of research, it is unclear how long the “washout period” between the consecutive treatments should last to avoid possible carry-over effects. Although the between-group design can be considered a limitation of the current study, it was a deliberate decision after carefully regarding other possibilities.
The determination of the individualized signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) might be considered a further limitation. As the individual 50% speech perception threshold in noise was determined using an adaptive matrix sentence test (i.e., the Oldenburg sentence test (OLSA) 21 ) and applied to our naturalistic set of stimuli, a direct transfer of the SNR determined therein was not appropriate (see section Stimulus preprocessing ). Since the OLSA uses sentences with no predictability between words that are embedded in speech-shaped noise, a direct transfer of the 50%-threshold determined therein to our stimuli was not possible. Since our stimuli contain contextual information and the participants can draw on their background knowledge due to the proximity to everyday life, embedding them in speech-shaped noise at the SNR determined in the OLSA would have resulted in a significantly higher performance in A-only. In a pilot study we therefore tested noise with different numbers of background talkers and found 48 talkers resulting in performance closest to 50%. However, as piloting was done on a sample of young normal hearing adults ( N = 10; M Age = 26.90, SD Age = 3.60, Range Age = 20–33; PTA < 25 dB HL) we did not consider the higher susceptibility to a variable masker (as it still is the case with 48 background talkers) and the considerable interindividual variability in older adults. As depicted in Fig. 2 , performance was widely spread around the mean, which is below 50%. This could also be seen in a previous study that employed a matrix sentence test to determine the speech perception threshold of interest and applied the SNR to another set of stimuli 8 . It is undeniable that in an experimental setting where A-only and AV conditions are considered, the SNR must be determined individually for A-only to prevent ceiling effects in AV—and even more so when potential improvements in AV are to be measured. When using naturalistic stimuli such as in the present study, it might be preferable to determine the SNR with the same kind of stimuli. Due to the acoustic variability of such stimuli, it is however expectable that significantly more trials are needed to determine a certain performance threshold adaptively. The relevance of equalizing perceptual performance between participants is further underscored by our data with participants improving from pre- to post-training (i.e., learners) having a lower baseline score. As mentioned above (see section Speechreading training improves audiovisual speech perception in noise ) baseline and change scores are inherently correlated in clinical trials 18 . Disregarding baseline imbalances between two study groups may lead to false-positive results where a positive effect is falsely attributed to the treatment.
Another point that can be considered a limitation is the potential lexical overlap between the material in the speechreading training and the sentences used in our experiment. Since there were lessons that specifically used sentences as training material, participants could have just learned to identify individual words which might have resulted in an overestimation of the training effect. We therefore ran a follow-up analysis to compare the test and training set with results suggesting a small lexical overlap. We then correlated the amount of time that was spent during training in sessions where sentences were specifically trained with the learning effects in the audiovisual condition which showed no significant effect ( r = 0.04, p = 0.837). We interpret these findings as support for the assumption that potential lexical overlaps between test and training set were not a (relevant) confounding factor for the observed training effect.
The variability of naturalistic stimuli and the importance of appropriate statistical modeling thereof is underscored by the random effects reported in Table 2 . The between-item variance explains a large portion of the total variance. Not accounting for such clustering in a given data set may lead to unacceptably high Type I error rates with possibly unreliable results 22 , 23 and statistical inferences that are not generalizable to a broader set of stimuli 24 . We argue that by accounting for the sampling of participants and items by means of introducing these variance components in the random effects structure, our results are likely to generalize beyond the boundaries of the present study 24 . Furthermore, the naturalistic stimuli and the task type used in the current study are arguably a better representation of communication settings one encounters in everyday life, with comprehension scores determined therein presumably approximating real-life comprehension more accurately.
In summary, the current study showed the beneficial effects of a computer-based, self-guided speechreading training for speech comprehension in noise in a sample of normal to moderately hearing-impaired middle-aged and older adults. Since hearing aids do not mitigate communication problems in every clinical case 3 , computer-based speechreading trainings offer a valuable complement that is cheap, easily applicable and incorporable into daily life. Furthermore, we used a novel naturalistic approach with participants being required to answer questions that relate to everyday life. This question format arguably allows for a better transfer to comprehension performance in everyday life which the tasks used so far do not allow.
A sample of 63 right-handed German speaking adults participated in the present study. Participants were recruited through two different study announcements containing information about a study investigating the effect of either a speechreading or a language training on speech comprehension in noise. Participants could therefore decide for themselves whether they wanted to join the speechreading or the language learning group. Since one participant only trained on one day, he was excluded from all further analyses. The final sample consisted of 62 adults, with 32 completing the speechreading ( M Age = 67.53 years, SD Age = 7.82 years, Range Age = 50–83 years, 16 female) and 30 completing the language training ( M Age = 71.70 years, SD Age = 7.42 years, Range Age = 47–82 years, 16 female). Demographic information and summary statistics of hearing and cognitive abilities are listed in Table 1 and depicted in Fig. 1 . Participants had no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders and showed no sign of cognitive impairment (Montreal Cognitive Assessment ≥26 25 ). Furthermore, participants reported no speech or language deficits (e.g., dyslexia) and professional musicians were excluded. Participants’ hearing was assessed using a MAICO ST 20 audiometer (MAICO Diagnostics, Berlin, Germany) and HDA 280 headphones (Sennheiser, Wedemark, Germany). PTAs were calculated by averaging thresholds over the octave frequencies from 0.5 to 8 kHz ( M PTA = 37.39, SD PTA = 14.13, Range PTA = 10–83). Seven participants in the ST group and eight participants in the AC group were hearing aid users who wore their hearing aid throughout the duration of the study. Visual acuity was assessed using the Pelli-Robson Contrast Sensitivity test 26 and the Snellen test 27 to ensure that the instructions on the computer could be read and the stimuli could clearly be seen. All participants gave their written informed consent and received monetary compensation for participation. The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the local ethics committee (University of Zurich Ethics Commission, approval number 20.12.20).
Visual working memory.
At pre-training, participants completed two tasks measuring cognitive functions appearing to be predictive for lipreading abilities: visual working memory and processing speed 17 . Visual working memory was measured using a computerized version of the Corsi Block-Tapping task 28 . The task consists of nine randomly arranged squares presented on screen with squares lighting up in random sequences participants must memorize and reproduce in reverse order. After every two trials, the sequence length is increased by another square. The task continues until participants make an error in both sequences of a list length. The task starts with sequences of two blocks and goes up to nine blocks. For each participant, the total score was calculated (i.e., the product of the span length and the number of correct trials; possible scores [0, 144]) as it is regarded as a more reliable measure than a simple block span score (i.e., the number of blocks of the longest sequence correctly remembered; possible scores [0, 9]) 29 .
Processing speed was measured using the Digit-Symbol-Coding test, a Paper-and-Pencil subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III 30 . In this test, participants are required to complement numbers with certain symbols according to a key located on top of the page. After 90 s the number of correct symbols is counted. For statistical analyses, raw scores were transformed to scaled scores with a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 3 points.
At pre- and post-training participants completed two questionnaires on subjective hearing in everyday life: the Listening Effort Questionnaire (LE) 31 and the German short version of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ; 32 German short version 33 ). In the LE questionnaire, participants rate their perceived listening effort on a scale from 0 (not exhausting) to 10 (extremely exhausting) for 17 different listening situations. The SSQ German short version consists of 17 questions where participants rate their perceived hearing abilities in different daily-life situations from 0 (none) to 10 (perfect).
The ST group trained speechreading using the training software by pro audito Schweiz (freely accessible on www.lippenlesen.ch ). The training contains eight lessons structured in the same way: 1) an introductory video summarizes the content and objective of the respective lesson, 2) in various flashcards the contents are trained, and 3) in exercises the contents trained are tested. In lesson one, participants are informed about which information is conveyed by the speaker’s face and which is not. In lesson two, the mouth forms of vowels and diphthongs are practised. In lessons three, four, and five, mouth forms of different consonants are trained and tested. The learning content is conveyed by means of mirror exercises and learning videos. Exercises test what has been learned, for example, recognizing syllables in words or differentiating words with minimal syllable differences. In lesson 6, the importance of contextual information is emphasized. In several exercises, participants answer questions in different contexts (i.e., at the cash desk, in the restaurant, and at the post office). In lesson 7, numbers, days of the week, months, and names are trained. In several exercises, participants must recognize for example dates, amounts of money, and more. In lesson 8, speech perception in noise is trained and tested where they need to follow a story and answer questions about the story.
The AC learned Spanish, English, or French through the language learning software Duolingo. Participants were free to choose which language they wanted to learn to maximize motivation and adherence. Furthermore, the exercises to be worked on could also be freely chosen. Both the ST and the AC were instructed to practise for 20 min on each of five days per week over a three-week period with free choice of the timing of a session. During the training period, participants in both groups kept a learning diary in which they recorded the exercises solved and the time spent per learning unit. As Duolingo only provides the number of experience points with detailed logfiles not being available, the AC was asked to complete 50 experience points per learning day which takes around 20 min to complete. From the ST group, on the other hand, logfiles were available and could be directly compared with the training times reported in the learning diaries. Although the experience points represent an approximation of the training time, it cannot be excluded that the reported training times of the AC are not as accurate as the exact logfile data of the ST.
Stimuli and experimental paradigm
Video recordings of a female speaker were used as stimulus material. Videos showed the speaker’s head and shoulder in front of a plain, non-distracting background. The speaker’s face pointed directly into the camera and was well lit so that her face was fully visible and not in shadows. The speech material consisted of questions depicting everyday situations that were spoken in Swiss German ( M SentenceLength = 5641 ms, SD SentenceLength = 1771 ms, Range SentenceLength = 2520–11,480 ms) (Supplementary Table 1 ). Participants were instructed to give an answer that clearly indicated whether they understood the question or not (yes/no answers were prohibited). Questions were presented in blocks of five sentences each. Each block formed a hypothetical scenario one could encounter in everyday life, with the questions contained within revolving around the same topic. The rationale was that this comes closest to a realistic communication setting where the listener not only perceives the acoustic signal, but can draw on other cues (e.g., contextual information). After the question was asked, the picture of a microphone appeared on the screen, signaling to the participant that an answer should be given. After an answer was given, the previously asked question was displayed on the screen for seven seconds. This would ensure that the participant could grasp the context, even if he or she had not understood the previously asked question, and therefore not biasing the answer to the next question. Trials were either presented in blocks with (AV) or without the video (A-only) of the speaker. Participants completed six AV and six A-only blocks in each session (i.e., 60 trials in each session). The presentation order of blocks and condition was randomized. The experiment started with a training block where five AV stimuli were presented. The experimental paradigm is outlined in Fig. 8 .
Participants were presented with ( a ) audiovisual and ( b ) audio-only trials. Timeline for a trial is shown at the bottom of the plot. The speaker gave her consent to publish her photograph.
To create the stimuli, silent periods with a duration of ≥100 ms were cut out before normalizing the root mean square to 70 dB. Afterwards, silent periods were reinserted. This procedure was required as speech segments in sentences containing longer pauses would have been louder after normalization and embedding in background noise. Since the speaker memorized each sentence before saying it directly into the camera and was instructed to speak naturally, the recordings contained more pauses than if she had just read the sentences aloud. The background noise was created by overlaying 48 randomly selected recordings of the same speaker while ensuring for each trial that the noise mixture did not contain the respective target sentence. It should be noted that the number of background talkers was not chosen at random. A primary goal was to individualize the SNR so that performance lies around 50% in A-only to prevent possible ceiling effects in AV at pre-training which would have made it impossible to measure potential training effects. To find the individual 50% speech perception threshold in noise, we used an adaptive German matrix sentence test (i.e., OLSA). Since the OLSA uses sentences with no predictability between words that are embedded in speech-shaped noise, a direct transfer of the 50%-threshold determined therein to our stimuli was not possible. Since our stimuli contain contextual information and the participants can draw on their background knowledge due to the proximity to everyday life, embedding them in speech-shaped noise at the same SNR would have resulted in a significantly higher performance in A-only. This was the reason why we needed a more difficult setting so that performance in A-only converged to around 50%. In a pilot study, young normal hearing adults ( N = 10; M Age = 26.90, SD Age = 3.60, Range Age = 20–33; PTA < 25 dB HL) completed the OLSA. The individual 50% speech perception threshold (i.e., SNR) was then used on our set of stimuli. In a next step we tested different numbers of background talkers (i.e., 6, 12, 24 and 48 talkers) with performance in 48-talker background noise being closest to the targeted 50%. Stimulus preprocessing was done in Praat 34 (version 6.1.40) and MATLAB 35 (version R2021b) using custom-made scripts. Video recordings had a resolution of 1,920 ×1,080 pixels with 25 frames per second while audio was recorded with a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz and resolution of 16 bits. Stimuli were controlled via sound card (RME Babyface Pro, RME Audio, Haimhausen, Germany) and presented through a Genelec 8030B Studio Monitor loudspeaker positioned at 0° azimuth with linear frequency response (Genelec, Iisalmi, Finland) at an intensity of 70 dB(A). Sound level calibration was done using an NTi XL2 sound level meter (NTi Audio, Schaan, Liechtenstein). Participants’ responses were recorded using an MKE 600 microphone (Sennheiser, Wedemark, Germany) placed at 60° azimuth ensuring a clear view on the screen.
In a first step, sample characteristics of the speechreading training and the active control group were compared. This was particularly important as we wanted to rule out the possibility of variables of non-primary interest being responsible for potential training effects. Using Welch’s two sample t -tests we compared the two groups in terms of PTA, age, training intensity as well as visual working memory and processing speed. Welch’s t -test was used as it is generally recommended when comparing groups of unequal sizes and/or the assumption of variance homogeneity is not met 36 . All statistical tests were conducted in R 37 (version 4.0.3).
Predictors of visual enhancement
In a next step we investigated potential predictors of VE at pre-training with VE being defined as the difference between A-only and AV 10 . VE was measured by means of a normalized difference score according to the following formula (1) (e.g., 10 )
The normalized difference score accounts for baseline differences by considering the potential for improvement in A-only as opposed to a simple difference score (i.e., AV − A-only ) 10 . Using multiple regression analysis, the relationship between VE and several variables (i.e., PTA, age, visual working memory, and processing speed) was investigated. All predictors were z-standardized.
Training effects on speech-in-noise comprehension
The primary goal of the present study was to investigate the effect of speechreading training on performance in a speech-in-noise comprehension task. Since we used an open response format, finding an unbiased method for scoring was key. For this purpose, two blinded independent raters scored participants’ answers (right or wrong) with ambiguous answers being excluded from subsequent analyses (3.18%). Cohen’s kappa, a measure of interrater reliability, indicated an almost perfect agreement between the two raters ( κ = 0.91, 95% CI[0.90, 0.92]) 38 , suggesting that most of the responses were clear. Subsequently, trials where the two raters agreed in their rating were extracted and analyzed. Given the dependencies among data points (i.e., each participant completed several trials in two conditions at two different time points and each item was presented in each condition, session, and group) it was deemed appropriate to fit a GLMM specified as binomial model with a logistic link function. The binary response measure was coded as 1 and 0 based on the participants’ responses (1 = correct; 0 = incorrect). In a first step, the model with the maximal random effects structure justified by the design was estimated 23 using the lme4 package 39 . The model included fixed effects of condition (categorical variable with two levels: A-only, AV), session (categorical variable with two levels: pre-training, post-training), and group (categorical variable with two levels: AC, ST), the three-way interaction between condition, session, and group, as well as the covariate age (continuous variable: in years) which was z-standardized. As for the random effects, the model included by-subject and by-item random intercepts (i.e., crossed random effects 22 ). Following the general rule of fitting a random slope for each focal within-unit predictor, the model contained by-subject random slopes for condition, session, their interaction, as well as by-item random slopes for condition, session, group, and their interaction. The random effects structure was further simplified by iteratively removing random effect terms until a non-singular fit was achieved 23 . We refrained from using a stepwise approach to determine the fixed effects specified in the fitted model (i.e., by means of comparing an encompassing model with a reduced model that omitted a fixed effect of interest). Rather, we wanted to specify the potential training effect—that is whether the experimental group improved from pre- to post-training in AV—as a regression model depicted as three-way interaction between condition, session, and group. The default contrast coding scheme (i.e., treatment coding ) was changed to sum-coding (i.e., effect coding ) where the lower-level effects (i.e., main effects) are estimated at the level of the grand mean and interpreted accordingly 40 . In addition to the fixed effects, variance estimates of the random effects are also reported. Model assumptions were checked using the performance package 41 and model predictions were plotted using the ggeffects package 42 . The maximal model was defined as specified in formula (2) with random intercepts and slopes being indicated by S 0 s and S x ≥ 1 s for subject as well as I 0 i and I x≥1 i for item.
Training effects on subjective hearing
In a further step, we investigated potential training effects on subjective hearing. For this purpose, we obtained average scores for both questionnaires (i.e., LE and SSQ) in each session. To account for the restricted range in the two outcome measures (i.e., [0, 10]), we fitted two GLMMs (i.e., one for LE and one for SSQ) with a beta distribution and a logistic link function using the glmmTMB package 43 . As the beta distribution has a range restriction of (0, 1), we divided the questionnaire scores by 10 before fitting the models. As the transformed data did not include 0 or 1, no further transformation was necessary. The models included fixed effects of session and group, the two-way interaction between session and group, as well as the covariate age. As we were interested in exploring the relationship between subjective and objective hearing, we included PTA as further covariate (continuous variable: in dB HL). As there was only one score per participant for each session, estimating random slopes was not possible. To account for the dependencies in the data, we fitted a by-subject random intercept. As above, we refrained from doing stepwise model selection and rather tested specifically whether training effects were present by specifying the two-way interaction between session and group. Orthogonal contrasts were again used as factor coding. The model is described in formula (3) with the by-subject random intercept being indicated by S 0 s .
Further information on research design is available in the Nature Research Reporting Summary linked to this article.
The complete data as well as the audiovisual stimuli used in this study are publicly available in the study’s Open Science Framework repository ( https://osf.io/35tzm/ ).
The analysis code to reproduce reported findings are publicly available in the study’s Open Science Framework repository ( https://osf.io/35tzm/ ).
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This work was supported by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. PR00P1_185715 to Nathalie Giroud) and the “Zürcher Stiftung für das Hören (ZSFH)”.
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Department of Computational Linguistics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Raffael Schmitt & Nathalie Giroud
International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course: Evolutionary and Ontogenetic Dynamics (LIFE), Zurich, Switzerland
Language & Medicine Centre Zurich, Competence Centre of Medical Faculty and Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Comparative Language Science, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution (ISLE), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Cognitive Psychology Unit, Alpen-Adria University, Klagenfurt, Austria
Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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R.S.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Formal analysis, Investigation, Data curation, Project administration, Writing—Original Draft, Visualization. M.M.: Resources, Writing—Review & Editing, Funding acquisition. N.G.: Conceptualization, Validation, Writing—Review & Editing, Supervision, Funding acquisition.
Correspondence to Raffael Schmitt .
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Schmitt, R., Meyer, M. & Giroud, N. Improvements in naturalistic speech-in-noise comprehension in middle-aged and older adults after 3 weeks of computer-based speechreading training. npj Sci. Learn. 8 , 32 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-023-00179-6
Received : 23 November 2022
Accepted : 09 August 2023
Published : 04 September 2023
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-023-00179-6
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Pedestrian, 32, dead after crash at N.J. intersection
- Updated: Sep. 02, 2023, 10:07 a.m. |
- Published: Sep. 02, 2023, 9:56 a.m.
- Camille Furst | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
A vehicle struck and killed a 32-year-old pedestrian at an intersection in East Brunswick Friday, officials said.
Matthew H. Brunner, of East Brunswick, was critically injured from the vehicle and was later pronounced dead, police said.
Officers responded at about 8:15 p.m. to the intersection of Cranbury Road and Henley Drive for a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, according to the East Brunswick Police Department.
The driver and the passenger in the vehicle, neither of whom authorities identified, were not injured and stayed at the scene of the collision, officials said.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, police said.
Authorities ask anyone with information to contact the township police department at 732-390-6969.
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com .
Camille Furst may be reached at [email protected] .
1 dead, 18 injured after collision between car, Greyhound bus in Maryland, police say
Police in Maryland are investigating a collision early Thursday morning between a car and a Greyhound bus that has killed one person and sent more than a dozen others to the hospital.
According to Howard County police, a Greyhound bus carrying 38 passengers was traveling eastbound on Route 32 near I-95 when it collided with a Buick Enclave traveling westbound in the eastbound lane around 3:24 a.m. local time.
The Buick driver, an adult male who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene, Police said the Greyhound driver and 17 passengers were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Route 32 intersects with I-95 in between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
The eastbound lane of Route 32 at I-95 was closed Thursday morning, and the investigation is ongoing.
More: Deadly fire in Philippine factory
Arkema: Anticipate A 15% EBITDA Increase In 2024
- Arkema will remain profitable and free cash flowing this year, but all eyes are on 2024.
- The company's Q2 2023 revenue decreased by 23% compared to Q2 2022, but the EBITDA margin remained at the projected 17.1%.
- Arkema's free cash flow performance is strong, with a net debt of just under 2.7B EUR and a debt ratio below 2 times the EBITDA.
- I do much more than just articles at European Small-Cap Ideas: Members get access to model portfolios, regular updates, a chat room, and more. Learn More »
Scott Olson/Getty Images News
In an article published in January, I explained why I was bullish on Arkema ( OTCPK:ARKAF ) ( OTCPK:ARKAY ), a large French company in the chemical sector, focusing on adhesive solutions, coating solutions and advanced materials. While I realized 2023 would be a weaker year than the very strong 2022, I was charmed by the company’s projection for 2024 as the revenue and margin projections were pretty impressive. The share price is already up by about 17% while the company also paid a dividend of 3.4 EUR, representing just over 4% of the share price when the previous article was published. The total return of 21% is pretty decent in these markets.
Arkema's primary listing is on Euronext Paris where the company is trading with AKE as its ticker symbol . The average daily volume in Paris is roughly 150,000 shares (for a monetary value of around 15M EUR). The company currently has approximately 74.7M shares outstanding resulting in a market cap of approximately 7.3B EUR. I will use the Euro as base currency throughout this article as Arkema trades in Euro and reports its financial results in Euro as well.
The margins are recovering
As stated in the introduction, I didn’t have particularly high hopes for 2023 and I mainly care about Arkema remaining on track to meet its guidance for 2024.
The total revenue in the second quarter decreased by approximately 23% from the Q2 2022 revenue, but this was widely expected as 2022 was a banner year for the company. Arkema is pointing towards weak demand and continuous destocking on the level of its end customers. And of course, as the revenue decreases, the EBITDA result is the first hit: the total EBITDA fell by about 40% from the (again, exceptionally high) result of 705M EUR in Q2 2022. But more importantly, the EBITDA margin came in at 17.1% which is the margin the company has been guiding to for its 2024 results. So margins are still more than okay. As you can see below, the Q2 EBITDA margin helped to compensate for the weaker margin in the first quarter of the year and the average EBITDA margin in the first semester was approximately 15.8%. Still below the 17% EBITDA margin guidance for 2024, but the first semester of this year also hasn’t been the most efficient period for the company due to the lower demand.
Arkema Investor Relations
As shown in the image above, the total revenue in the first half of 2023 came in at just under 5B EUR, and this resulted in an operating income of 417M EUR, which is a decrease of more than 50% compared to the first half of 2022 (which, again, does not necessarily provide a fair comparison basis). And despite the substantial decrease in operating income, the company obviously remained profitable: the net income was approximately 285M EUR of which 284M EUR was attributable to the shareholders of Arkema.
This represented an EPS of 3.73 EUR per share. Not brilliant, but as 2023 was generally seen as a transition year, it’s a decent result. Also keep in mind the net finance expenses of 35M EUR are substantially higher than the 14M EUR in H1 2022. That was perhaps somewhat surprising as the total interest expenses decreased, but as you can see below, there was a 19M EUR delta in the provisions for pensions and employee benefits while there was an additional 11M EUR ‘hit’ due to FX changes. This means the underlying earnings would have exceeded 4 EUR per share.
Those additional finance expenses are also non-cash items. The cash flow statement below indicates the operating cash flow was approximately 417M EUR, but this includes a 164M EUR investment in working capital items and excludes the 5M EUR in interest paid to the perpetuals and 2M EUR paid to non-controlling interests. This means that on an adjusted basis, the operating cash flow was approximately 574M EUR.
The total capex was approximately 348M EUR (including the increase in payables on fixed assets), resulting in a net free cash flow of 226M EUR. The image below shows the recurring capex was just 212M EUR, which means the underlying free cash flow result was quite a bit higher than the reported cash flow. Arkema continues to invest in growth with, amongst others, investments to supply anhydrous hydrogen fluoride to Nutrien ( NTR ) in the United States.
Arkema’s free cash flow performance remains strong and as of the end of June, the balance sheet contained 1.67B EUR in cash and about 3.6B EUR in gross financial liabilities. The net debt was just under 2B EUR. And while that is an increase compared to the first half of 2022, this is related to A) the investment in working capital items and B) the payment of just over a quarter of a billion Euro in dividends in the first half of the year. Including the impact of equity-like deeply subordinated debt, the net debt level is 2.6-2.7B EUR.
Considering Arkema anticipates a full-year EBITDA of 1.5-1.6B EUR, the debt ratio will remain firmly below 2 times the EBITDA, so there doesn’t appear to be a balance sheet risk here. Meanwhile, the stock is still trading at an EBITDA multiple of around 6.5 times on an enterprise value basis. And based on the 2024 projections, the EBITDA should increase by approximately 15% from the midpoint of this year’s guidance.
Using an EBITDA of 1.55B EUR for this year and considering the full-year depreciation expenses will be around 675M EUR, we can expect an EBIT of around 900M EUR. The net finance expenses will likely remain low as Arkema should start generating interest income on its cash pile while the vast majority of its financial debt consists of fixed rate bonds so the interest expenses will only increase very slowly. And the long-term debt on the secondary markets has a yield to maturity of less than 4% so the financial markets seem to be very happy with the credit risk of Arkema. I anticipate a pre-tax profit of 850M EUR and a net income of 640-675M EUR for an EPS of around 8-8.5 EUR per share. This should increase towards 10 EUR per share in 2024 as the company meets its mid-term targets.
I have been writing out of the money put options on Arkema and I will likely continue to do so. I currently have no position but could write additional options on any weakness in the share price.
Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.
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Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
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Russia deploys ICBM that Putin says will make enemies ‘think twice’
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MOSCOW (AP) — The head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said Friday that the country has deployed an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that President Vladimir Putin once said will make Russia’s enemies “think twice.”
Agency head Yuri Borisov said Sarmat missiles have been placed on combat duty, according to Russian news agencies. Further details were not reported.
The Sarmat is one of several advanced weapons whose development Putin announced in 2018. The silo-based missile, capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, is intended to replace the R-36 ICBMs that are known by the NATO reporting name of Satan.
The Sarmat reportedly has a short initial launch phase, allowing little time for surveillance systems to track it.
In 2022, about two months after sending troops into Ukraine, Putin said the Sarmat would “reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats and make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country, think twice,.”