Landmark Judgements in India – At a Glance

Landmark Judgements

The Hon’ble Supreme Court judgements are very important to have a better understanding of the Constitution of our country. Many questions have been asked in the UPSC, APP, APO, CLAT, UGC NET & Judiciary exams about various landmark Supreme Court judgments in the past. In this article, we give you a list of the most important SC judgments in India for the APP, APO, CLAT, UGC NET, Judiciary, and UPSC exam.

Supreme Court judgments are an essential part of the polity and governance segments of the   APP, APO, CLAT, UGC NET, Judiciary, and UPSC syllabus.

This 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 Government jobs and colleges. The Supreme Court had held that the Order violates Article 16(2) of the Constitution.

K.M. Nanavati v. the State of Maharashtra

This case marked the end of the jury trial in our country. The case was finally decided by the Bombay HC.

Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala

The thirteen Judges Bench laid down the concept of Basic Structure; and also held that the Basic Structure of the constitution cannot be amended.

Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain

The 39th Indian constitutional Amendment Act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The 39th Amendment had introduced Article 392 A to the Constitution of our country, which provided that the appointment of the PM and the Speaker cannot be challenged in any Court of the country. The Supreme Court it unconstitutional because it violated the basic structure of the Constitution.

Also Read – How to Read Judgements Quickly?

A.D.M.Jabalpur v. S. Shukla

The order issued by the precedent under Article 359, suspending the right of access to the Courts for the enforcement of right under Article 14,21, and 22 would be suspended during the emergency.

Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India

While explaining the expression Procedure Established by Law under Article 21 of the constitution of India, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India 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 the same as the “due process of law” as interpreted by the American Constitution.

Mithu v. State of Punjab

The Supreme Court invalidated Section 303 of the Indian Penal Code, which provided for a mandatory death sentence for a murder committed by a life convict.

Bachan Singh v. the State of Punjab

The Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of the death penalty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 354 of CRPC.

Nandini Satpathy v. P.L Dani

The police must inform the accused person that he has a right to call a Lawyer, Advocate or Barrister before answering any questions.

Hussainara Khatoon v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar

The Supreme Court talked about a speedy trials. The Court recognized the right to a speedy trial and the right to legal aid services to the accused as well as victim, It is also a fundamental right.

Sheela Barse v. Union of India

The Court held that the right to legal aid is a Fundamental Right under Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution.

Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum

Muslim women have the right to claim maintenance under Section 125 of  CrPC. The remedy under Section 125 is available to wife (including a divorced wife), irrespectively of the religion to which she belongs.

Indra Sawhney v. Union of India

This case is popularly known as the Mandal Commission Case. The court set a parameter for reservation also the Court has held that barring any extraordinary situation, reservation should not exceed 50 percent.

In Re: Berubari

It was held that the Preamble is not part of the Constitution. This Judgment was overruled bt the 12-judge Bench in the Kesavananda Bharati case, and it was held that the “Preamble is a part of the Indian Constitution”

S.R. Bommai v. Union of India

The power of the precedent to issue a proclamation under Article 356 is not 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 a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The court also declared that the Preamble of our constitution indicated the basic structure of the constitution.

Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu

The right to life as well as liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of our Constitution includes the right to privacy. It is a right to be left alone.

Minerva Mills v. Union of India

The Supreme Court held that harmony and balance between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles is an essential feature of the basic structure of the constitution. The Hon’ble Supreme Court also invalidated the provision of the 42nd amendment, which under Article 31c gave pre-eminence to all the Directive principles against some of the  Fundamental Rights of our constitution. The Court also held that social Welfare Law cannot curtail the Fundamental Rights.

Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association v. Union of India (third Judge Case)

The concept of the Collegium System for the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary was laid down.

M.C Mehta v. Union of India (Oleum gas leak case)

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India evolved the concept of Absolute liability. The Hon’ble Supreme c Court held that where an enterprise is engaged in 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 the 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-à-vis the tortuous principle of strict liability under the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher .

M.C Metha v. Kamal Nath

The concept of the Public Trust Doctrine was laid down. The State is the trusty of all the natural resources, which are meant by nature for public use and enjoyment. These resources can not be converted into private property. The State being the trusty of natural resources is under the legal obligation to protect such natural resources.

Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India

The case is related to the offense of bigamy, the 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 a Hindu man, after being converted to Islam, will be invalid if the first marriage has been dissolved.

Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan

The Court described the sexual harassment at workplace, laid down the proper guidelines that have to be followed at the workplace against sexual harassment.

NALSA V. Union of India

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India affirmed the constitutional rights and freedom of the transgender and recognized them as the third gender.

Shreya Shinghal v. Union of India

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act) which violated freedom of speech and expression, declaring it to be unconstitutional.

Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India

The Supreme Court declared Section 377 of IPC,   which criminalizes homosexuality in India, as unconstitutional and violative of the Fundamental Rights under Article 14,15and 21of the constitution. Earlier, in Suresh Kumar Kaushal & Anr. V. Naz Foundation & others Supreme Court of India struck down the decision of the Delhi High Court; and held that Section 377 of IPC does not suffer from any constitutional infirmity, and had left it on the legislature to dell with the legality of the Section.

Also Read – Analysis of Landmark Judgements in India

Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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