CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Subject Matter

Relevant Article

Key Issue

Citation Details

Summary Judgment

Freedom of speech and expression

Article 19(1)(a)

A delicate question of balancing the powers of two constitutional authorities in this appeal has raised larger issues of the freedom of speech and expression of the media, the right to information of citizens and the accountability of the judiciary to the nation.




The Chief Election Commissioner of India vs. M.R. Vijayabhaskar and Ors. (06.05.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0341/2021

Facts:- The present Petition arose from order of a Division Bench of Madras High Court was entertaining petition under Article 226 of the Constitution to ensure that COVID-related protocols are followed concerned polling booths. During the hearings, the Division Bench alleged to have made certain remarks, attributing responsibility to the Election Commission (EC) for the present surge in the number of cases of COVID-19, due to their failure to implement appropriate COVID-19 safety measures and protocol during the elections. EC has alleges the remarks to be baseless, and tarnishingits image, it being also an independent constitutional authority.
Held:- The Court ruled that freedom of speech and expression includes reporting on court proceedings, including oral observations made by judges. the court find no substance in the prayer of the EC for restraining the media from reporting on court proceedings. This Court stands as a staunch proponent of the freedom of the media to report court proceedings. This we believe is integral to the freedom of speech and expression of those who speak, of those who wish to hear and to be heard and above all, in holding the judiciary accountable to the values which justify its existence as a constitutional institution. appeal stands disposed of.

Publication of pending criminal cases of candidates contesting the election.

Article 129 - The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Article 142 - (1) The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and that shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.

Whether it is mandatory for the candidates contesting in the election to disclose any and all criminal proceedings pending against them?

Rambabu Singh Thakur vs. Sunil Arora and Ors. (13.02.2020 - SC) : MANU/SC/0172/2020

Facts: Due to the increased involvement of politicians and a spike in the criminal activities in politics, the concern was raised as to why such candidates were allowed to contest in the elections in the first place.

Held: Demanding the explanation for allowing such candidates against whom criminal proceedings were pending, the Apex Court issued the following directions as to the code of conduct on the part of the Political Parties:

a. It is mandatory for political parties to upload in their website the detailed information of candidates along with pending criminal cases against them.
b. The political parties must mention the reasons for selecting candidates and also as to why other individuals, who did not have any criminal antecedents could not be selected.
c. The reasons as to selection shall be with reference to the qualifications and merits of the candidate, and not merely winning-ability.
d. The information shall be published on a local and national newspaper and on the official social media platforms of the political party.
e. The political party shall submit a report of with the Election Commission within 72 hours of the selection of the said candidate.

Internet is a fundamental right.

Article 19(1)(g) - All citizens shall have the right to to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Article 19(6) - Nothing in sub-clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause, and, in particular pertaining to technical and professional qualifications.

Whether freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business over Internet was part of fundamental rights and imposition of restrictions under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure were valid?

Anuradha Bhasin and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (10.01.2020 - SC) : MANU/SC/0022/2020

Facts: The Constitutional Order was issued by the President, applying all provisions of the Constitution of India to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. In light of the prevailing circumstances, on the same day, the District Magistrates, apprehending breach of peace and tranquillity, imposed restrictions on movement and public gatherings by virtue of powers vested under Section 144, Code of Criminal Procedure. Due to the said restrictions, the Petitioner claims that the movement of journalists was severely restricted. Aggrieved by the same, the Petitioners filed petition seeking issuance of an appropriate writ for setting aside or quashing any and all order(s), notification(s), direction(s) and/or circular(s) issued by the Respondents under which any/all modes of communication including internet, mobile and fixed line telecommunication services have been shut down or suspended or in any way made inaccessible or unavailable in any locality. Further, the Petitioners sought the issuance of an appropriate writ or direction directing Respondents to immediately restore all modes of communication including mobile, internet and landline services throughout Jammu and Kashmir in order to provide an enabling environment for the media to practice its profession.
Held: The internet is also a very important tool for trade and commerce. The globalization of the Indian economy and the rapid advances in information and technology have opened up vast business avenues and transformed India as a global IT hub. There was no doubt that there are certain trades which are completely dependent on the internet. Such a right of trade through internet also fosters consumerism and availability of choice. Therefore, the freedom of trade and commerce through the medium of the internet is also constitutionally protected under Article 19(1)(g), subject to the restrictions provided under Article 19(6).

Right to marry - Consent of family not needed once two adults decide to marry.

Article 21 - Protection of life and personal liberty: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Whether directions need to be issued for the protection of Petitioners?

Laxmibai Chandaragi B. and Ors. vs. The State of Karnataka and Ors. (08.02.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0068/2021

Facts: A father lodged a complaint stating that his daughter was missing. In pursuance to the complaint, FIR of a missing person was registered and the investigation officer recorded the statement of the missing person's parents and her relatives and took call details. In the course of investigation it was found that the said daughter married Petitioner 2. She sent her marriage certificate to her parents through whatsapp revealing the factum of marriage to Petitioner 2. It was the case of the Petitioners that the uncle of the said daughter was threatening them. Both the parties were well educated. They developed liking for each other during their employment. However, there was resistance from the parents of Petitioner 1. Both Petitioners are majors and Hindu by religion.

Held: It was held that the consent of the family or the community or the clan is not necessary once the two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock and that their consent has to be piously given primacy. It was in that context it was further observed that the choice of an individual was an inextricable part of dignity, for dignity cannot be thought of where there is erosion of choice. Such a right or choice was not expected to succumb to the concept of class honour or group thinking. The Petitioners having filed the present petition, no further statement was really required to be recorded and thus, the proceedings in pursuance to the FIR were quashed.

Freedom of Press relating to Court proceedings.

Article 19(1)(a): All citizens shall have the right - to freedom of speech and expression.

Whether a restrain can be put on media from reporting court proceedings?

The Chief Election Commissioner of India vs. M.R. Vijayabhaskar and Ors. (06.05.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0341/2021

Facts: During the hearings regarding Covid Protocols to be folowed at polling booths, the Division Bench of Madras High Court alleged to have made certain remarks, attributing responsibility to the Election Commission (EC) for the present surge in the number of cases of COVID-19, due to their failure to implement appropriate COVID-19 safety measures and protocol during the elections. EC has alleged the remarks to be baseless, and tarnishing of its image, it being also an independent constitutional authority. Hence, the present appeal.

Held: Freedom of speech and expression extends to reporting the proceedings of judicial institutions as well. Courts are entrusted to perform crucial functions under the law. Their work has a direct impact, not only on the rights of citizens, but also the extent to which the citizens can exact accountability from the executive whose duty it is to enforce the law. The power of judges must not be unbridled and judicial restraint must be exercised, before using strong and scathing language to criticize any individual or institution. However, these oral remarks are not a part of the official judicial record, and therefore, the question of expunging them does not arise. It is right to say that a formal opinion of a judicial institution is reflected through its judgments and orders, and not its oral observations during the hearing. Hence, in view of the above discussion, no substance found in the prayer of the EC for restraining the media from reporting on court proceedings. This Court stands as a staunch proponent of the freedom of the media to report court proceedings.

Deportation of Rohingya refugees.

Article 14: Equality before law -The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
Article 19(1)(e): All citizens shall have the right - to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
Article 21:Protection of life and personal liberty - No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Whether Respondent should be directed to release Rohingya refugees and not to deport them?

Mohammad Salimullah and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (08.04.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0246/2021

Facts: Pending disposal of the main writ petition praying for the issue of an appropriate writ directing the Respondents to provide basic human amenities to the members of the Rohingya Community, who have taken refuge in India, the Petitioners who claim to have registered themselves as refugees with the United Nations High Commission for refugees, had filed present interlocutory application seeking the release of the detained Rohingya refugees and a direction to the Respondents not to deport the Rohingya refugees who have been detained in the sub-jail in Jammu.

Held: There was no denial of the fact that India was not a signatory to the Refugee Convention. There was no doubt that the National Courts can draw inspiration from International Conventions/Treaties, so long as they were not in conflict with the municipal law. It was also true that the rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 are available to all persons who may or may not be citizens. But the right not to be deported, is ancillary or concomitant to the right to reside or settle in any part of the territory of India guaranteed under Article 19(1)(e). The Rohingyas in Jammu, on whose behalf the present application was filed, shall not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation was followed.

Constitutionality of Maratha Quota

Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth - No state shall discriminate among the citizens based on the above mentioned grounds. Article 16: There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.

Whether Act in question ultravires Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution of India, 1950 and also against the precedent laid down in the case of Indira Sawhney?

Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs. The Chief Minister and Ors. (09.09.2020 - SC) : MANU/SC/0686/2020; Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil and Ors. vs. The Chief Minister and Ors. (05.05.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0340/2021

Facts: The Maharashtra State Reservation (SEBC) Act, 2018 declared Marathas to  be a "Socially and Educationally Backward Class", and provided reservations  to the extent of  16 per cent of the total seats in educational institutions including private educational institutions and 16 per cent of the total appointments in direct recruitment for public services and posts under the State. Constitutional validity as challenged by way of PILs was upheld by the High Court, though it reduced the quantum o reservations from 16% to 12% in respect of the educational institutions and from 16% to 13% in respect of public employment. Hence, the present appeal.

Held: The State of Maharashtra has not shown any extraordinary situation for providing reservations to Marathas in excess of 50 per cent. Maratha community which comprises of 30 per cent of the population in the State of Maharashtra cannot be compared to marginalized Sections of the society living in far flung and  remote  areas. The State has failed to make out a special case for providing reservation in excess of 50 per cent. These matters shall be placed before Hon'ble The Chief Justice of India for suitable orders. Admissions to educational institutions for the academic year 2020-21 shall be made without reference  to the reservations provided in the Act. Admissions made to Post-Graduate Medical Courses shall not be altered. Appointments to public services and posts under the Government shall be made without implementing the reservation as provided in the Act.

Habeas Corpus Petitions

Article 32: Remedies for enforcement of rights
conferred by this Part - The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed. The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warrant and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part.

Whether the accused is entitled to be released for medical assistance?

Kerala Union of Working Journalists vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (28.04.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0332/2021

Facts: The present petition sought for release of alleged detenu, who was allegedly taken into illegal custody without serving any notice or order. The petition was contested on the ground of maintainability. However release on bail was sought through an interim application owing to his deteriorating health condition.

Held: Alleged detenu has alternative remedies including the right to approach the competent court for the grant of bail and/or the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and/or under Section 482 Code of Criminal Procedure for redressal of his grievances. Owing to the apparent precarious health condition of the arrestee, it is necessary to provide adequate and effective medical assistance to him. As soon as arrestee recovers, and the Doctors certify him fit to be discharged, he would be shifted back to concerned Jail. Arrestee in the meanwhile at liberty to avail appropriate remedy in accordance with law.

Vaccination Policy - Pandemic Management

Article 14: Equality before law -The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty - No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Whether government has prepared road map on vaccination policy further?

In Re: Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services During Pandemic (31.05.2021 - SC) : MANU/SC/0365/2021

Facts: The present suomotu proceedings were in reference to management of second wave of COVID-19 pandemic on the issues of vaccination policy, supply of essential drugs, supply of medical oxygen, medical infrastructure, augmentation of healthcare workforce and the issues faced by them, and issues of freedom of speech and expression during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were observations and directions issued.

Held: Union of India directed to file an affidavit, which shall address the issues and questions raised, wherein it shall ensure that each issue is responded to individually and no issue is missed out. Affidavit should provide all the information pertaining to population that has been vaccinated; purchase history of vaccines, etc. and an outline for how and when the Central Government seeks to vaccinate the remaining population in phases 1, 2 and 3 as well as the steps being taken by the Central Government to ensure drug availability for mucormycosis.

Equality of opportunity in matter of public employment

Article 16: It guarantees equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters employment under state services

Discrimination on the basis of caste?

Champakam Dorairajan and Ors. vs. The State of Madras (27.07.1950 - MADHC): MANU/TN/0014/1951

Facts: Champakam Dorairajan, a brahmin girl from State of Madras was denied admission in medical college even after qualifying the elligibilty criteria, due to some Government Order. She moved the Supreme Court and claimed that she had been discriminated on the basis of her birth(caste).

Held: The Supreme court struck down the entire government order and held that caste based reservations was against Article 16(2) of the Constitution. Government as forced to amend the constitution for the first time and add 'clause 4 to Article 15'

Laws inconsistent with fundamental rights

Articles 13: This article states that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the fundamental rigths of the citizens.

Article 368: This article states the Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefore

Whether First, Fourth and Seventeenth Amendment are unconstitutional and inoperative as they are violating Article 14 and Article 19(1)(f) & (g)?

I.C. Golak Nath and Ors. vs. State of Punjab and Ors. (27.02.1967 - SC): MANU/SC/0029/1967

Facts: The legal representaitves of the petitioner were claiming against an order that an area of 418 standard accres and 9-1/4 units was surplus in the hands of the petitioners under the provision of Punjab securityy of Land Tenure Act. The petitions alleged against the provisions of the said act where under the said area ws declared surpllus were void on the gound that it infringed their rights under Article 19 & 14 of the constitution and filed a writ under Article 32 challenging that Constitutional First, Fourth and Seventeenth Amendment are unconstitutional and inoperative as they are violating Article 14 and Article 19(1)(f) & (g).

Held: The court held that 1st, 4th and 17th amendments though abridged Fundamental rights were valid in the past and are valid for the future. Further the court also held that the powers of the Parliament are limited. The law made by the Parliament shall not be such that infringes and takes away the fundamental rights of the citizen provided by the Constitution.

Abolition of titles and awards

Article 18: Abolition of Titles

Validity of titles and privileges was challenged?

Madhav Rao Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (15.12.1970 - SC): MANU/SC/0050/1970

Facts: After independence rulers of various States were integrated with guarantee of payment of some amount known as privy purse along with 'gaddi' of State after some time order of 'derecognising' such rulers was passed by President. Validity of said Order challenged in Supreme Court

Held: The Court abolished titles and privileges of India's erstwhile princely rule. Also abolished privy purses of India's erstwhile princely states

Equality before law and Right to life

Articles 14: Guarantees equality before law or equal protection of law. Article 39A- Provides for free legal aid.

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

24th, 25th ad 29th amendment were challenged?

Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru vs. State of Kerala (24.04.1973 - SC): MANU/SC/0445/1973

Facts: The petitioner was the head of a Hindu Matt in a village in state of Kerala. He challenged the Kerala governement's attemots under two states land reforms acts, to impose restrictions on the management of its property without government interference. During that time major amendments to the constitution i.e. 24th, 25th and 29th, had been enacted by Indira Gandhi's government. All these amendments were challenged under this case.

Held: The Supreme Court gave power to Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution. The Court further added that such amendment shall not take away the fundamental rights of the citizen which are provided by the Constitution of India.

Special Provisions as to elections to Parliament (Repealed)

Article 329A: Provides for Special provision as to elections to Parliament in the case of Prime Minister and Speaker

[Repealed]

Consitutional Validity of 39th Amendment to Constitution was challenged?

Indira Nehru Gandhi vs. Raj Narain and Ors. (24.06.1975 - SC): MANU/SC/0025/1975

Facts: Raj Narain was a political contender against Indira Gandhi for Rae Bareilly and Mrs. Gandhi won the election. After polling results Raj Narain filed a case against her contending that she performed election malpractices. The Allahabad High Court found her guilty. On appeal to Supreme Court , the Supreme Court was going on vacation so they granted a conditional stay. Thereafter emergency was declared in the country due to internal disturbances. In the meantime Indira Gandhi passed 39th Amendment which introduced Article 329A which stated that election of Prime Minister and Speaker cannot be questioned in any court of law, and it can only be challenged before a cmmitte framed by Parliament itself. Thus barring the Supreme Court to decide the pending Indira Gandhi's Case. Therefore, Constitutional Validity of 39th Amendment was challenged.

Held: The Supreme Court relied on landmark judgement of Kesvananda Bharti's case and held clause (4) of 329-A as unconstitutional and further held that Rule of Law, Democracy and Judicial Review are part of the basic structure and no amendment can do away with them.

Laws inconsistent with fundamental rights

Article 13: This article states that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the fundamental rigths of the citizens.

Whether the Tribunals constituted under Part XIV-A of the Constitution of India can be effective substitutes for the High Court in discharging the power of Judicial Review?

L. Chandra Kumar vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (18.03.1997 - SC): MANU/SC/0261/1997

Facts: A number of Special Leave Petitions were filed forming a batch of matter bought before the Supreme Court in his case owing to their origin to separate decisions of different High Court's and several different provisions and enactments. These matters were basically pertaining to the constitutional validity of sub-clause(d) of clause (2) of Article 323A and sub-clause (d) of clause (3) of Article 323B of the Constitution of India and also regarding the constitutional validity of Administrative Tribunals Act 1985. Question to decide in this case was whether the Tribunals constituted under Part XIV-A of the Constitution of India can be effective substitutes for the High Court in discharging the power of Judicial Review.

Held: Supreme Court held that sub-clause(d) of clause (2) of Article 323A and sub-clause (d) of clause (3) of Article 323B of the Constitution of India are unconstitutional and further through Article 32 and the High Court through Article 226 have the power to Judicial Review and no amendment can curtail this power.

Laws inconsistent with fundamental rights and rRight to Life

Article 13: This article states that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the fundamental rigths of the citizens.

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Validity of Preventive Detention Law?

A.K. Gopalan vs. The State of Madras (19.05.1950 - SC): MANU/SC/0012/1950

Facts: Gopalan was detained under a preventive detention law . He moved the court saying that his detention was unlawful as it violated his right to personal liberty.

Held: The words 'personal liberty' used under Article 21 just meant procedural due process' and preventive detention law under which Gopalan was detained was valid even if it violated his right to movement. This doctrine was commonly known as 'procedural due process'

Laws inconsistent with fundamental rights

Article 13: This article states that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the fundamental rigths of the citizens.

 

Basheshar Nath vs. The Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi and Rajasthan and Ors. (19.11.1958 - SC): MANU/SC/0064/1958

Facts: In this case the petitioner concealed a huge amount of his income and his case was referred to investigating commission under Section 5A. In order to avoid heavier penalty he agreed for settlement under Section 8A. Meanwhile the Supreme Court in another case held Section 5A as unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the Indian Consitution. The petitioner challenged the enforceability of the settlement on this basis.

Held: This case established Doctrine of Waiver and Supreme Court held that in Indian Consitution fundamental rights cannot be waived of.

Equality before law

Article 14: Guarantees equality before law or equal protection of law

Validity of transfer of post was challenged?

E.P. Royappa vs. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors. (23.11.1973 - SC): MANU/SC/0380/1973

Facts: The petitioner was a member of the Indian Administrative Service in the Cadre of the State of Tamil Nadu. When the post of Chief Secretary of the state fell vacant the petitoner was selected for the post. But then State government gave permission to the creation of a temporary post of Deputy Chairman in the State Planning Commission in the grade of Chief Secretary. After that he was transferred and appointed to the post of Officer on Special Duty.While the post of Chief Secretary was given to a junior cadre officer to the petitioner. The petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 32 asking a mandamus or any other appropriate writ challenging the validity of the transfer and alleged that such act was violative of Article 14 & 16 and was done in malafide exercise of power.

Held: The Supreme Court however dismissed the petition but held that if any action is arbitrary, we shall assume that it is opposed to equality.

Equality before law

Article 14: Guarantees equality before law or equal protection of law

Whether the pay scale of the petitioner who was a driver in the Delhi Police Force be same to that of the drivers of Delhi Administration?

Randhir Singh vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (22.02.1982 - SC): MANU/SC/0234/1982

Facts: In this case the issue to be decided was whether the pay scale of the petitioner who was a driver in the Delhi Police Force be same to that of the drivers of Delhi Administration. It was held that the functions performed by both, the petitioner and other drivers is the same. however it was contended that the duties of the petitioner are onerous.

Held: The court directed to fix a pay-scale atleast on a par for the petitioner and Delhi Police Force driver constables.

Equality of opportunity in matter of public employment

Article 16: It guarantees equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters employment under state services

Whether reservation in promotion is valid?

Indra Sawhney and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (16.11.1992 - SC): MANU/SC/0104/1993

In this case reservation in promotion is invalid but by 77th Amendment was passed in 1995 nullyfying the effect of this judgement. The said amendment added clause 4(a) to Article 16 because of which reservation in promotion is valid.

Right to Life

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Whether the petitions are maintainable even if the right to move to court for the enforcement of fundamental right under Article 21 is suspended?

Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur vs. Shivakant Shukla (28.04.1976 - SC): MANU/SC/0062/1976

Facts: During emergency in India, Fundamental rights were suspended i.e. nobody can go to court for invoking the infringement of their fundamental rights. Emergency made such proclamations due to which many people were detained under various laws. Few of them moved to High Courts seeking a writ of Habeas Corpus. The Governement said that since the right to move to court for the enforcement of fundamental right under Article 21 is suspended, the petitions are not maintainable.These cases went to appeal to Supreme Court.

Held: Supreme Court refused to recognise fundamental rights that citizens acquire since birth. In this case, court held that during emergency, fundamental rights cannot be enforced.

Right to Life

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Whether non disclosure of reason to impound the passport breached the fundamental rights of the petitioner?

Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (25.01.1978 - SC): MANU/SC/0133/1978

In this case Maneka Gandh's passport was impounded. When she wrote to the Regional Passport Officer asking for reasons to do so, the officer declined to state reasons citing public interest. She filed a writ petition in Supreme Court stating that this act breached her fundamental rights.

Held: Supreme Court said that Article 14, 19 and 21 are interlinked and any such procedure which deprives life or personal liberty under Article 21 then that procedure/law shall satisfy the test of Article 14 & Article 19 as well. This led to era of 'substantive due process'

Right to Education

Articles 14: Guarantees equality before law or equal protection of law.

Article 15: No discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Whether the state was duty bound to provide education, and that the private institutions that discharge the state's duties were equally bound not to charge a higher fee than the government institutions?

Miss. Mohini Jain vs. State of Karnataka and Ors. (30.07.1992 - SC): MANU/SC/0357/1992

facts: The challenge in this case was to a notification of June 1989, which provided for a fee structure, whereby for government seats, the tuition fee was Rs. 2, 000 per annum, and for students from Karnataka, the fee was Rs. 25,000 per annum, while the fee for Indian students from outside Karnataka, under the payment category, was Rs. 60,000 per annum. It had been contended that charging such a discriminatory and high fee violated constitutional guarantees and rights. This attack was sustained, and it was held that there was a fundamental right to education in every citizen, and that the state was duty bound to provide the education, and that the private institutions that discharge the state's duties were equally bound not to charge a higher fee than the government institutions.

Held: The Court then held that any prescription of fee in excess of what was payable in government colleges was a capitation fee and would, therefore, be illegal.

Right to Legal Aid

Articles 14: Guarantees equality before law or equal protection of law. Article 39A: Provides for free legal aid.

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Legal Aid to under trial prisoners on habeas corpus petitions?

Hussainara Khatoon and Ors. vs. Home Secretary, State of Bihar, Patna (09.03.1979 - SC): MANU/SC/0121/1979

facts: The case dealt, inter alia, with the rights of the under trial prisoners on habeas corpus petitions which disclosed a state of affairs in regard to administration of justice in the State of Bihar. An alarmingly large number of men and women, children including, were behind prison bars for years awaiting trial in courts of law. The offences with which some of them were charged were trivial, which even if proved, would not warrant punishment for more that a few months, perhaps a year or two, and yet they remained in jail, deprived of their freedom, for periods ranging from three to ten years without even as much as their trial having commenced.

Held: The Court ordered immediate release of these under trials many of whom were kept in jail without trial or even without a charge.The Court in this case observed that State cannot avoid its constitutional duty to provide for speedy trial and directed for enforcement of right to speedy trial as a fundamental right.

Right to Privacy

Articles 19: Freedom of Speech and Expressions

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Whether telephone tapping is an invasion to one's privacy?

People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (18.12.1996 - SC): MANU/SC/0149/1997

Facts: The Petitioner highlighted the incident of telephone tapping which was permissible under section 5(2) of Telegraph Act and contended unless such tapping comes under reasonable restrictions put up by Article 19 of the Indian constitution it is infringing right to privacy of people.

Held: The court directed the authorities to maintain records of the intercepted messages and limited the terms of usage of such records to Section 5(2) of the Act and provided for a review committee

Right to Livelihood

Articles 14: Guarantees equality before law or equal protection of law.

Articles 19: Freedom of Speech and Expressions Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Whether court is under a duty to provide alternative for eviction of slum dwellers?

Olga Tellis and Ors. vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation and Ors. (10.07.1985 - SC): MANU/SC/0039/1985

Facts: In this case the Municipal Corporation decided to evict the pavement dwellers and those who were residing in slums in Bombay. To this the inhabitants claimed that such act deprived their right to life. The question which arose in this case was whether right to life inlcudes right to livelihood? Constitution does not provide for an absolute embargo on the deprivation of life or personal liberty. Under Article 21, such deprivation must be in accordance with the procedure established by law. No one has right to encroach on trails , pavements or sidewalks which is reserved for public use.

Held: The court refused alternative site for expelled inhabitants however the State Government assured Court that alternative would be provided to slum dwellers who were caused to be evicted.

Right to Privacy

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Constitutional Validity of Aadhaar Card?

Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (26.09.2018 - SC): MANU/SC/1054/2018

Facts: Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and struck down provisions which rendered it mandatory to link Aadhaar number with Bank Accounts, cell phone connections and school admissions. Additionally, held that all matters relating to an individual cannot be classified as inherent part of right to privacy and only those matters over which there would be a reasonable expectation of privacy are protected by Article 21.

Right to life includes Right to Die

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Whether Right to die is a fundamental right?

Common Cause (A Regd. Society) vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (09.03.2018 - SC): MANU/SC/0232/2018

Facts: In this case people who were suffering from chronic diseases were at the end of their natural life span and were deprived of their rights to refuse cruel and unwanted medical treatment, like feeding through hydration tubes, being kept on ventilator and other life supporting machines in order to artificially prolong their natural life span. It was further pleaded that it was a common law right of the people, of any civilized country, to refuse unwanted medical treatment and no person could force him/her to take any medical treatment which the person did not desire to continue with.

Held: The Court in this case recognized right to die with dignity as a fundamental right

Triple Talaq

Article 14, 15(1), 21, 21(a), 25, Section 125 CrPC

1. Whether or not the practise of talaq-e-biddat (particularly, instantaneous triple talaq / a key Islamic ritual) is permissible?

2. Whether triple talaq is a violation of any basic rights?

Shayara Bano v. Union of India, MANU/SC/1031/2017

Facts:- In this instance, Shayara Bano was married to Rizwan Ahmed for 15 years. Her spouse filed for talaq-e-bidat divorce from her in 2016. (triple talaq). Ms. Bano argued that three customs were unlawful, citing Articles 14, 15, 21, and 25 of the Constitution: triple talaq, polygamy, and nikah halala (the practice of forcing women to marry and divorce another man so that their previous spouse may remarry her after triple talaq).

Held:- The Apex Court has held the practice of triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat), unconstitutional by a 3:2 majority. The court directed the Parliament to take legislative measures against the practice of triple talaq and declared that the practice of triple talaq as illegal, unconstitutional.

Constitutional validity of the 42nd Amendment Act 1976

Article 31C

Article 368

1. Whether insertion made under Article 31C and Article 368 through sections 4 and 55 of the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 does hamper the basic structure doctrine?

2. Whether the Directive Principle of the State policy has primacy over Fundamental right to the Indian Constitution?   

Minerva Mills v. Union of India MANU/SC/0075/1980

Facts:- In the state of Karnataka, Minerva Mills was a manufacturing facility for large-scale silk clothing production that also provided a market for the local populace. The Central government was sceptical that the company matched the requirements to be classified as a crippled industry, though. A committee was established by the Central Government in 1970 in accordance with Section 15 of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951, to examine the enterprises of Minerva Mills. As a result, on October 19, 1971, the Central Government contracted a National Textile Corporation Limited (a body created under the 1951 Act) to take over the management of Minerva Mills in accordance with Section 18A of the 1951 Act based on the Committee's evaluation. The Nationalization Act of 1974 was previously incorporated into the Ninth Schedule, which implies that any test on the said act was outside the purview of legal audit. However, the applicant was unable to challenge the part of the 39th Constitutional (Amendment) Act, 1975 because this remedy was abolished by the 42nd Amendment. The 42nd Constitutional (Amendment) Act of 1976's validity was therefore the key question in this circumstance.

Held:- The 5 judge bench in a decision of 4:1 Majority struck down section 4 and 55 of the 42nd Constitutional amendment on the grounds that they went against the fundamental principles of our Constitution. The judges reiterated the basic structural theory and supported the ruling made in the Kesavananda Bharati case.

Proclamation of emergency

Article 352

1. Whether a writ petition can be filed or not under Article 226 of the Constitution before the High Court in order to enforce the Fundamental Rights during the period of proclamation of emergency.

ADM Jabalpur v. Shivakant Shukla, MANU/SC/0062/1976

Facts:- On 25th June, 1975, the President in exercise of his powers, declared that there was a grave emergency whereby security of India is threatened by the internal disturbances. Subsequently, it was declared that the right of any person including the foreigners to move any court in order to enforce their rights which have been granted to them under Article 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution and also all the proceedings that are pending in the court will remain suspended during the period of proclamation of emergency which was made under Article 352 of Indian Constitution. On 8th January, 1976, the President passed a notification declaring that right of any person to move to any court in order to enforce the right which have been granted to them under Article 19 of the Constitution and also all the proceedings that are pending in the court will remain suspended during the period of proclamation of emergency. Thereupon, several illegal detentions were made and as a result, numerous writ petitions were submitted around the nation. Nine High Courts ruled in favour of the defendants by stating that even if Article 21 could not be applied, the detention order may still be challenged because it did not follow the Act or was not made in good faith. Additionally, numerous appeals to the Supreme Court were filed in opposition to these orders.

Held:- A Constitution Bench by a majority of 4:1, ruled that the state of emergency is in effect, the right to petition the High Courts for Habeas Corpus to challenge State-authorized illegal imprisonment shall be suspended. The Supreme Court declared, "If extraordinary powers are granted, they are granted because the Emergency is extraordinary, and they are limited to the term of the Emergency."

Challenge to first amendment act, 1951

Article 368

Article 31A

Article 31B

1. Whether the 1st Constitutional Amendment, 1951 passed by the Parliament is valid.

2. Whether the word ‘law’ used under Article 13(2) also includes the ‘law of the amendment of the Constitution of India.

Shankari Prasad v. Union of India, 1952, MANU/SC/0013/1951

Facts:- The Zamindari Abolition Act, also known as the agricultural land reforms when India gained its independence, was passed into law in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. The zamindars were angry because they had lost their separate landholdings as a result. As this statute violates their fundamental rights, the zamindars filed a suit in the High Courts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh to regain control of their properties. The Bihar Land Reforms Act of 1950 was declared unconstitutional by the Patna High Court, however the high courts in Allahabad and Nagpur affirmed the legality of the legislation in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. To end the numerous legal disputes surrounding the same issue, the government proposed a remedy in the shape of the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951. In response, the zamindars filed a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution asking if the Constitutional (First Amendment) Act, 1951, passed by the Parliament and including articles 31A and 31B, is invalid and unconstitutional.

Held:- The apex court states that in articles 13(4) and 368(3), the parliament is empowered to alter part 3 of the fundamental rights, and because an amendment to 368 is not an ordinary legislation as defined in article 13(3), it cannot be declared void under article 13(2).
The SC ruled that the power to amend the Constitution under Article 368 did not include the power to amend fundamental rights and that the term "law" in Article 13(8) only refers to a regular law passed under the authority of the legislative branch and excludes constitutional amendments passed under the authority of the constituent branch. Therefore, even if a constitutional amendment limits or eliminates abridges some essential rights, it will still be enforceable.