Landmark Judgments in India

Landmark Judgments in India
  1. Chanpakam Dorairajan V State of Madras:- The verdict of this case led to the first amendment of the constitution. The Supreme Court had struck down the Communal Government Order, which provided Caste based reservation in the Government Jobs and Colleges. The Supreme Court has held that the order violates Article 16 (2) of the Constitution.
  2. M. Nanavati V. State of Maharashtra:- This case marked the end of Jury Trial in India and the case was finally decided by the Bombay High Court.
  3. Keshvananda Bharti V. State of Kerala:- The 13 Judge Bench laid down the concept of Basic Structure and also held that Basic Structure of the Constitution cannot be amended.
  4. Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain:- The 39th Constitutional Amendment was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The 39th Amendment has introduced Article 392A to the Constitution of India, which provided that the appointment of Prime Minister and Speaker cannot be challenged in any court of the country. The Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, because it violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
  5. D.M Jabalpur v. S. Shukla:- The order issued by the President under Article 359, suspending the right of access to the courts for the enforcement of right under Article 14, 21 and 22 was held valid. The Court held that the right to move court under Article 14, 21 and 22 would be suspended during the emergency.
  6. Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India– While explaining the expression ‘Procedure Established by Law’ under Article 21, held that the procedure in Article 21 has to be fair, just and reasonable, not fanciful, oppressive or arbitrary. The ‘Procedure established by law’ is same as the ‘due process of law’ as interpreted by the American Constitution.
  7. Mithu v. State of Punjab:- The Supreme Court invalidated Section 303 of Indian Penal Code, which provided for mandatory death sentence for murder committed by a life convict.
  8. Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab:- The Supreme court upheld the Constitutional validity of death penalty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 354 of Cr.pc.
  9. Nandini Satpathi v. P.L. Dani:- The police must inform the accused that he has a right to call a lawyer before answering to any of their questions.
  10. Hussainara khatoon v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar:- The Supreme Court talked about the Speedy Trial. The Court recognized the right to speedy trial and the right to legal aid services.
  11. Sheela barse v. Union of India:- The Court held that right to legal aid is a fundamental right under article 14 and Article 21 of the constitution,
  12. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum:- Muslim Women has the right to claim maintenance under Section 125 of Cr.PC. The Remedy under Section 125 is available to wife (including a divorced wife), irrespective of the religion to which they belongs.
  13. Indra Sawhney v. union of India:- This case is also known as Mandal Commission Case. The court has held that barring any extraordinary situations reservation should not exceed 50 per cent.
  14. Berubari Union(I), Re:- It was held that the preamble is not part of the constitution. This judgement was overruled by 13 Judge Bench in Keshvananda Bharti case and it was held that the ‘Preamble is part of Indian Constitution’.
  15. R. Bommai v. Union of India:- The power of President to issue Proclamation under Article 356 is not an absolute power. The Court also held that ‘Secularism’ was part of the Indian Constitution before the word ‘Secular’ was added in the preamble. The Court also declared ‘Secularism’ as the part of basic structure of the constitution. The Court also declared that ‘Preamble indicates the basic structure of the constitution’.
  16. Rajagopal v. State of Tamilnadu:- The right to life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution includes right to privacy. It is a ‘right to be left alone’.
  17. Minerva Mill v. Union of India:- The Supreme Court held the ‘Harmony and balance between fundamental rights and directive principle is an essential feature of the basic structure of the constitution’. The court also invalidated the provision of 42nd amendment which under Article 31-C gave pre-eminence to all the directive principles against some of the fundamental rights. Court also held that the Social Welfare Law cannot curtail the fundamental rights.
  18. Supreme Court Advocate on-Record Association v. UOI (Third judge Case)- The concept of Collegium System for the appointment of Judges in the higher judiciary was laid down.
  19. C.Mehta v. Union of India, AIR 1987, SC 965- The Supreme Court evolved the concept of ‘Absolute Liability’. The Court held that where an enterprise is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and harm results to anyone on account of an accident in the operation of such hazardous or inherently dangerous activity resulting, for example, in escape of toxic gas the enterprise is strictly and absolutely liable to compensate all those who are affected by the accident and such liability is not subject to any of the exceptions which operate vis-vis the tortious principle of strict liability under the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher.
  20. C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath:- The Concept of Public Trust Doctrine was laid down. The state is the trustee of all the natural resources, which are meant by nature for public use and enjoyment. These resources cannot be converted into private property. The State being the trustee of natural resources is under the legal obligation to protect such natural resources.
  21. Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India:- The case is related to the offence of Bigamy, conflict between the personal laws and a strong need for the uniform civil code in the country. The court held that, the second marriage of Hindu man after being converted to Islam, will be invalid if the first marriage has not been dissolved.
  22. Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan:- Court defined “Sexual Harassment at work place and laid down the guidelines that has to be followed at the work place against sexual harassment.
  23. NALSA v. Union of India:- The Supreme Court affirmed the Constitutional rights and freedom of the Transgender and recognized them as the ‘Third Gender’.
  24. Shreya Singhal v. Union of India:- The Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act (which violated Freedom of Speech and Expression), declaring it to be unconstitutional.
  25. Naz Foundation v. Govt of NCT of Delhi:- The Delhi High Court declared Section 377 of IPC, which criminalizes Homosexuality in India, as unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. Later on in Suresh Kumar Kaushal & Anr. V. NAZ Foundation & Others, the Supreme Court of India struck down the decision of Delhi High Court and held the Section 377 of IPC does not suffer from any constitutional infirmity and has left on the legislature to deal with the legality of the Section.

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