CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

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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

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'

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

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).

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.

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

Abolition of titles and awards

Article 18: Abolition of Titles

Validity of titles and privileges was challenged

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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'

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

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.

 

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.

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

Equality before law

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

Validity of transfer of post was challenged

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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?

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'

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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

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 ?

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

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