kartik
LANDMARK JUDGMENTS OF SUPREME COURT (Part 1)
kartik mago 10 Apr 2019

LANDMARK JUDGMENTS OF SUPREME COURT (Part 1)


Minerva Mills V. Union Of India

(1980)

Supreme Court had struck down Section 55 & 4 of the 42nd Amendment because it violated the basic structure doctrine. The Court emphasized on the importance of judicial review and held that Section 55 of the amendment act 1976 is void because it made the challenge in Court not possible and removed all restrictions on the Parliament's power under Article 368.

S.R Bomai V. Union Of India

(1994)

Supreme Court held that the President's power to dismiss a State Government is not absolute. The power should be exercised by the President only after both the Houses approve his proclamation. Till then, he can only suspend the Constitutional provisions thereby suspending Legislative Assembly.

 

L. Chandra V. Union Of India

(1995)

Supreme Court concluded that the Tribunals constituted under Articles 323A and 323B have the power to test vires of subordinate legislation except vires of their parent statutes. All its decisions would be subject to scrutiny before Division Bench of their respective High Courts under Articles 226/227. No appeal would lie directly to the Supreme Court under Article 136. The said direction would operative prospectively.

 

Maneka Gandhi V. Union Of India

(1978)

This judgment expanded the scope of Article 21 of the Constitution and made India a welfare State. The major findings of the judgment are as follows:

1.      The court while delivering this landmark judgment changed the landscape of the Constitution by holding that though the phrase used in Article 21 is “procedure established by law” instead of “due process of law” however, the procedure must be free from arbitrariness and irrationality.

2.      Even though the Constitution makers must be respected, but they never intended to plant such a self – destructive bomb in the heart if the Constitution. They were never of the mind that the procedure need not necessarily be reasonable, just and fair. They drafted this Constitution for the protection of the “people of India” and such interpretation of Article 21 will be counter-productive to the protection offered by the Constitution.

3.      The scope of “personal liberty” is not be construed in narrow and stricter sense. The court said that personal liberty has to be understood in the broader and liberal sense. Therefore, Article 21 was given an expansive interpretation. The court obligated the future courts to expand the horizons of Article 21 to cover all the Fundamental Rights and avoid construing it in narrower sense.

4.      Section 10(3)(c) of Passport Act 1967 is not violative of either Article 21 nor Article 19(1)(a) or 19 (1)(g). The court further held that the said 1967 provision also not in contradiction of Article 14. Since the said provision provides for an opportunity to be heard. The court rejected the contention of petitioner that the phrase “in the interests of the general public” is not vague.

 

Danial Latifi V. Union Of India

(2001)

Supreme Court held that while divorce, the husband has a duty to consider his wife's future needs and make required arrangements well in advance so that those need could be met. This case established the Muslim husband's liability for facilitating maintenance to his wife even after divorce. The period included is that beyond the iddat period.

 

Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum V. Union Of India

(1996)

Supreme Court observed that one of the major foreign exchange earner was the leather industry. Among others, 'precautionary principle' and 'polluter pay principle' are the important environmental measures to be taken by the State thus anticipating, preventing and attacking the causes of environmental degradation.

 

S.P. Gupta V. Union Of India

In this case, the Apex Court observed that the President's actions can only be challenged only when there is apprehension of mala fide intention on part of him or extraneous considerations.

 

Dk Basu V. State Of West Bengal

(1996)

The Court gave certain guidelines regarding the rights and duties of arrested persons and arresting police official. These are:

·         The police official who arrests and handles the interrogation of the arrested person must wear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations. A register has to be maintained in which particulars of all such personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee will be recorded.

·         A memo of the arrest has to be prepared by such official at the time of arrest. Such memo shall have to be attested by at least 1 witness. He can be a family member of the arrested person or even a respectable person from the locality (area of arrest). The arrestee will countersigned by the arrestee.

·         Right to inform Near ones about arrest: The arrestee must be given a chance to inform someone about his arrest or detention, as a matter of right.

·         A case diary has to be maintained at the place of detention. It should contain details of the arrestee,  the name of the person to whom he has informed about his arrest or detention and the details of the police official who has given effect to that arrest.

·         When the informed person lives outside the district or town, the police is obligated to give them details regarding time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee. This can be done through the Legal Aid Organization in the District and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.

·         If the arrestee requests, he can be examined while being arrested. If any injuries, minor or major, are found on his body, it must be recorded at that time. The “Inspection Memo” must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee.

·         Right to get medical facilities: The arrested person has to be medically examined by a trained doctor every 48 hours when he is detained

·         Right to Consult Advocate: The arrestee should not be stopped to met his Advocate during interrogation.

 

Kharak Singh Case

(1964)

Supreme Court held that “It is essential for us to determine whether there is a fundamental right to privacy in the Indian Constitution. Determination of the question would essentially entail whether the decisions in M P Sharma by an eight-judge Bench and Kharak Singh by a six-judge Bench that there is no such fundamental right is the correct expression of constitutional provisions,”

 

Sodan Singh V. NDMC

(1989)

Supreme Court had considered the Thareja Committee's report and concluded that the occupation and places which were decided by the Committee is tentative. The Court noted its recommendation that in case the dues are not paid, the claimant shall not be entitled to the benefit under this scheme. Certain procedures were directed to make final allotment of sites to the eligible squatters.

  

Naga's Peoples Movement For Human Rights V. Union Of India

(1998)

The Supreme Court said that for any area to be declared as a disturbed one, a grave situation of law and order must exist on the basis of which the Governor/Administrator of the State/Union Territory or the Central Government can form an opinion that area is in such a disturbed or dangerous.

 

M. Nagaraj V. Union Of India

(2006)

The constitutional validity of 77th, 81st, 82nd, and 85th Amendments were upheld by Supreme Court. It held that if the State wants to exercise their discretion and make provisions for reservation to promote SC/STs, quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335 has to be collected.

 

Selvi V. State Of Karnataka

(2010)

The Supreme Court reiterated on Article 20(3) as follows:

 “Article 20 (3) aims to prevent the forcible conveyance of personal knowledge that is relevant to the facts in issue. The results obtained from each of the impugned tests bear a testimonial character and they cannot be categorised as material evidence.

In their considered opinion that subjecting a person to the impugned techniques in an involuntary manner violates the prescribed boundaries of privacy.” 

 

Society For Un-Aided Private Schools Of Rajasthan V. Union Of India And Anr.

(2012)

Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice SH Kapadia and Justices Swatanter Kumar and Justice KS Radhakrishnan upheld the constitutionality of the RTE Act. It held that under that Article 19(6) it was permitted to impose reasonable restrictions on the right to carry on an occupation, trade or business under Article 19(1)(g). Also, 25% reservation obligation on private unaided schools was a reasonable restriction. It was also held that Section 12(1)(c) of the Act requiring unaided minority schools to admit children from disadvantaged groups violated the minority character of those institutions and hence, the RTE Act could not be applied to private unaided minority schools.

 

D.S. Nakara V. Union Of India

(1983)

Supreme Court had observed that:

"With the expanding horizons of socio-economic justice and the classification being not based on any discernible rational principle having been found wholly unrelated to the objects sought to be achieved by grant of liberalized pension, it could be safely said that this differential treatment is violative of Article 14 and unconstitutional. The classification must not be arbitrary but must be rational, that is to say, it must not only be based on some qualities or characteristics which are to be found in all the persons grouped together and not in others who are left out but those qualities or characteristics must have a reasonable relation to the object of the legislation. Also, Article 14 is certainly attracted where equals are treated differently without any reasonable basis."

 

Nandini Sundar V. State Of Chhatisgarh

(2011)

supreme court addresses the issue of ill-treatment, torture, murder, and forced displacement suffered by local people. The Court reaffirmed that these actions on part of the State are unconstitutional  and ordered the State to strictly abide by the rule of law. For this, orders were passed to stop SPOs with immediate effect to stop them from funding the other vigilante groups' recruitment.

 

Swamy Shraddananda V. State Of Karnataka

The Apex Court had held that if the Court has good reasons to substitute death sentence by life imprisonment or by a period of 14 years, it can direct the convict to not be released from jail for the rest of his life or for the actual term as specified in the order, as the case may be.

 

Zahira Habibullah Sheikh & Anr V/s State of Gujarat & Ors

(2006)

The Supreme Court bench raised vital questions with regards to the roles of various bodies like Court, Investigating agencies, Public Prosecutors etc. in a criminal proceeding. When the State prosecutes the State itself, there arises a major concern of State-sanctioned and sponsored criminal bouts of communal violence. It extends to every officer of the prosecuting State undertaking every effort to ensure the acquittal of accused officers of the State.

 

Kihoto Hollohon v. Zachilhu and ors.

(1992)

The Supreme Court considered the 52nd Amendment to the Constitution and held that it violated the whole Constitution as the Constitutional scheme for decisions on questions on disqualification of members after being duly elected, contemplates adjudication of such disputes by an independent authority outside the House, namely President or Governor in accordance with the opinion of the Election Commission, all of which who high Constitutional functionaries are.

 

Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union Of India

(2011)

The Apex Court considered the principle of parens patriae, It prevented any misuse by determining termination of life of a person in High Court. Thus, passive euthanasia was allowed by the Court in some cases. But even for this, the approval has to be taken from the concerned High Court and proper procedure is to be followed.

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