INDIAN CONSTITUTION LANDMARK CASES

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Indian constitution

INTRODUCTION:

As, time is changing and pushing ahead, society likewise experiences changes and with that need to change in the legal framework is required. To adapt up to the changing idea of the general public, Indian Constitution likewise experiences a change. In our nation, there are a few cases that have made a milestone and aided in producing new laws. Because of which not only Constitution is amended, but also change the view & opinion of the people. Here is some of the famous landmark decision given by supreme court-

1. State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan (AIR 1951 SC 226):

  • In this case court struck down caste based reservation as it was against article 16(2) of the constitution.
  • While Article 29(1) protects the language, script, culture of the sections of citizen, clause 2 of Article 29 guarantees fundamental right of an individual section.
  • This right cannot be denied only on the basis of religion, race, caste, language or any one of them.
  • If a citizen who seeks admission into any such educational institutions has not the requisite academic qualification and is denied admission on that ground, he certainly cannot be heard to complain of infraction of his fundamental right under this article.
  • This case resulted in the First Amendment of the Constitution of India.

2. Golaknath v. State Of Punjab (1967 AIR 1643, 1967 SCR (2) 762

  • In this case court ruled that laws which are made by the parliament shall not be such that infringes aur take away the fundamental right of the citizen which are provided by the constitution of India.
  • Furthermore the court held that the constitution can be amended.
  • This judgement was overruled by 24th Amendment by Parliament.

3. Kesavananda Bharati vs. State of Kerala (AIR 1973 SC 1461)

  • Exactly forty years ago, on April 24, 1973, Chief Justice Sikri and 12 judges of the Supreme Court assembled to deliver the most important judgment in its history. The case of Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala had been heard for 68 days, the arguments commencing on October 31, 1972, and ending on March 23, 1973. 
  • This is the largest bench case in the Indian Judiciary.
  • The Supreme Court gave Parliament power to amend any part of the constitution but they cannot take away the fundamental right of the citizen guaranteed by the constitution.
  • This Case is also known as the Fundamental right case.

4. Indira Nehru Gandhi Vs. Raj Narain(AIR 1975 SC 2299)

  • On the varied reasons, the court struck down the 39th (Amendment) Act, 1975 finding it unconstitutional and violative of the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
  • The court gave its decision on November 7, 1975. It must be kept in mind that this was the first case when the landmark decision of Kesavananda Bharti was applied by the apex court. The apex court upheld the contention of the petitioner and declared the impugned Clause 4 of Article 329A unconstitutional.

5. Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India (25 January, 1978)

  • This case gave wide interpretation to the meaning of ‘Right to life and personal liberty’ under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  • The court held that the law which prescribes the procedure to deprive any individual from personal liberty has to fulfill the requirements of Article 14 and 19 also.
  • This case also expanded the scope of freedom of speech and expression.
  • In this case the court also gave interconnection between article 14, 19 and 21.
  • At last it was held by the court that right to travel outside the country is also included in the personal liberty.

 6. Minerva mills vs. Union of India (AIR 1980 SC 1789)

  • Minerva Mills Ltd. and, Ors. v. Union of India and Ors. is a milestone decision of the Supreme Court of India that connected and developed the basic structure doctrine of the Constitution of India.
  • In the Minerva Mills case, the Supreme Court gave key explanations on the interpretation of the basic structure doctrine. The court collectively decided that the power of the parliament to amend the constitution is constrained by the constitution. Henceforth the parliament can’t practice this this limited power to grant itself an unlimited power. Furthermore, a larger part of the court likewise held that the parliament’s power to amend isn’t a capacity to destroy. Hence the parliament can’t emasculate the fundamental rights of people, including the  right to liberty and equality.
  • The decision struck down section 4 and 55 of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 established during the Emergency forced by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

7. MC Mehta vs. Union of India (1987 SCR (1) 819)

  • MC Mehta filed Public Interest Litigation for the leak of poisonous gases by plant in Bhopal.
  • This case is also known as Bhopal Gas Tragedy case.
  • The Court in this case extended the scope of article 21 and 32 of the Constitution of India.
  • In this case the Court granted Interim compensation of Rs 350 crores to the victims.

8. SR Bommai vs. Union of India ([1994] 2 SCR 644 : AIR 1994 SC 1918 : (1994)3 SCC1)

  • The court in this case curtailed power of President under Article 356 of the constitution of India.
  • The court also held that Secularism is the basic structure of the constitution.
  • It laid the existence of Ram Temple in the disputed area.

9. Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan (Air 1997 Sc 3011)

  • The judgment of Vishakha’s case was delivered by Chief Justice J.S Verma as a representative of Justice Sujata Manihar and Justice B.N Kripal by virtue of writ petition which was filed by Vishakha the victim of this case. The court saw that the central rights under Article 14[2], 19[3](1)(g) and 21[4]of Constitution of India that, every profession, trade or occupation should provide safe working environment to the employees. It hampered the right to life and the right to carry on with a dignified life. The fundamental prerequisite was that there ought to be the accessibility of safe working environment at workplace.
  • The Supreme Court held that, women have fundamental right towards the freedom of sexual harassment at workplace. It likewise set forward different significant rules for the representatives to tail them and stay away from sexual harassment of women at work environment. The court additionally proposed to have appropriate systems for the usage of situations where there is sexual harassment at work environment. The principle point/target of the Supreme Court was to guarantee gender equality among individuals and furthermore to guarantee that there ought to be no discrimination towards women at there workplace.
  • After this case, the Supreme Court made the term Sexual provocation very much characterized, likewise any physical touch or conduct, showing of pornography, any unpleasant taunt or misbehavior, or any sexual desire towards women, sexual favor will come under the ambit of sexual harassment.

10. PA Inamdar vs. State of Maharashtra (2004) 8 SCC 139)

  • This case was decided by 2 judge bench of Supreme Court.
  • The dispute arose before the court regarding fixation of quota in unaided professional institutions and also withholdings of examination for admissions into such cases.
  • The court held that there shall be no fixation of quota in unaided professional institutions.
  • Court also held that the admissions should be conducted on merit basis.

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