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Case Laws On Constitutional Law

Article 14
  • D. S. Nakara v. Union of India
    Here the Supreme Court struck down the Rule 34 of the Central Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 as unconstitutional on the grounds that the classification made by it between pensioners retiring before a particular date and retiring after that date was not based on any rational principle and was arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Air India v. Nargesh Meerza 1981 4 SCC 335
    In this case certain discriminatory rules made by Air India that the Air Hostess would retire on attaining the age of 35 years or on marriage, if the marriage is contracted within first four years of the service or on first pregnancy of the Air Hostess, whichever is earlier. The age of retirement was different for other employees and Managing Director of the company was given the authority to increase the age of retirement of Air Hostess to 45 years. This rule and authority in the hands of M.D. was held to be arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Article 15
  • Indira Sawhney & Ors v. Union of India
    Here the Supreme Court upheld the implementation of separate reservation for the other backward classes in the central government jobs.

Article 16
  • C.B. Muthamma v. Union of India
    Here, a provision in service rule requiring a female employee to obtain permission of the Government in writing before her marriage is solemnised and denying her the right to be promoted on the grounds that the candidate was a married women was held discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Article 18
  • Balaji Raghvan v. Union of India
    Here the question arose as to whether the recognition awards such as Padma Bhushan, Bharat Ratna etc would also come within the ambit of titles and so the same also needs to be abolished as per Article 18 of the Indian Constitution, to which the court answered that the said awards does not come within the ambit of titles as they are just the recognition by the government and so they need not be abolished.

Article 19
  • Express Newspaper v. Union of India
    Here it was held that the right to freedom of speech is one of the pillars of individual liberty which our constitution has always use, protected and guarded.
  • State of Bihar v. Shashibala Devi
    Here, the Supreme Court held that the term security of state means only to serious and aggravated forms of public disorder like rebellion or waging war against Indian Government.

Article 21-A
  • Unnikrishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh
    Here the Supreme Court declared that right to education for the children aged between 6 to 14 years should be made a fundamental right. A demand for the was made and hence the Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002 was enacted which made education, a fundamental right.
  • Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka
    In this case, a resident of Uttar Pradesh state challenged a notification issued by the Karnataka government that permitted private medical colleges to charge higher fees to students who were not allocated 'government seats'. The Supreme Court of India held that the charging of a 'capitation fee' by the private educational institutions violated the right to education, as implied from the right to life and human dignity, and the right to equal protection of the law. In the absence of an express constitutional right, the Court interpreted a right to education as a necessary condition for fulfilment of the right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. In addition, the Court held that private institutions, acting as agents of the State, have a duty to ensure equal access to, and non-discrimination the delivery of, higher education.
  • Avinash Mehrotra v. Union of India
    In this decision, the Supreme Court of India interpreted the right to education to include the right to the provision of a safe environment in schools, and imposed an obligation on schools to comply with certain fire safety precautions as the fire broke in the said school but the children were evacuated safely.
  • P.A. Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra
    In the said case, the Supreme Court held that the right to establish an educational institution for charity or for profit, being an occupation is protected under Article 19 (1)(g).

Article 23
  • Raj Bahadur v. Legal Remembrancer
    Here it was stated that "Traffic in human beings means selling and buying men and women like goods and includes immoral traffic in women and children for immoral or other purposes.

Article 24
  • PUDR v. Union of India
    Here, it was stated that the employment of children in hazardous factories like fireworks and construction is strictly prohibited as it would be dangerous to their life.

  • S.R, Bommai v. Union of India
    In this case, the Supreme Court held that "secularism is the basic feature of the Constitution."
  • Aruna Roy v. Union of India
    Secularism has a positive meaning that is developing respect towards different religion.

Article 30
  • T.M.A. Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka
    Here it was held that the State government and universities cannot regulate the admission policy of unaided educational institutions run by the linguistic religious minorities but they can specify academic qualifications for students and make rules and regulations for maintaining academic standards. The same principle applies in appointment of teachers and other staff.
Article 32
  • Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration
    In this case, the court initiated the proceedings on a letter by a co-convict, alleging inhuman torture to his fellow convict. The said letter was considered as a writ of habeas corpus and actions were instituted against the concerned authority.
  • Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration
    Here, as per the PIL filed it was held that only the hardcore criminals would be handcuffed and not all the criminals.
  • Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar
    Here, the right to speedy justice emerged as a basic fundamental right was denied to prisoners and the court held that it is the fundamental right of all the prisoners to get speedy trial as well they are also entitle to legal aid if they are incapable for the same.
  • Taj Trapezium Case
    Here, in order to protect and preserve the beauty of Taj Mahal, certain industries adversely affecting the nearby environment were ordered to closed down.

Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India
    The Apex Court held that the husband is guilty of the offence of Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The second marriage is held void because a person cannot get married to another person without giving divorce to his spouse. The court has not given any direction regarding the Uniform Civil Code but has told government to review Article 44 of the Constitution which states that the State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
  • Javed v. State of Haryana
    In this case, the court held that the fundamental rights have to be read with fundamental duties and directive principles of state policy. It cannot be read in isolation.
  • Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh
    Here a complete ban and closing of mining operation carried out in Mussoorie Hills was held to be sustainable by deriving support from fundamental duty enshrined in Article 51-A(g) of the Constitution. The court held that the preservation of environment and keeping the ecological balance unaffected is a task which not only government but also every citizen must undertake. It is social obligation of state as well as individuals.

Legal Aid
  • Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra
    This was a Public Interest Litigation filed in response to the custodial violence against female prisoners in Bombay.
    The court issued directions on the need to provide legal assistance to all prisoners lodged in jails in Maharashtra. The court reiterated the constitutional imperative of providing legal aid to poor accused that face deprivation of life or personal liberty.

    It emphasised the importance of this right to restore faith in the justice system, to protect rights of prisoners against torture and ill-treatment and especially when their incarceration may prevent access to legal assistance. To ensure that prisoners have access to legal aid, the court directed the Maharashtra prisons to send a list of all undertrial prisoners to the Legal Aid Committee of the district and to facilitate interactions between lawyers nominated by these Legal Aid Committees and prisoners who desire legal assistance.
  • Suk Das v. Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh
    This was an appeal against a two year imprisonment for criminal intimidation where the accused was unrepresented for the trial and did not make an application for legal aid.
    The question in this case was whether the fundamental right to legal assistance at state cost could be denied if he did not apply for free legal aid.

    The court reiterated the holding of Khatri and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Ors. that the magistrate is under an obligation to inform the accused of his right to free legal services if he cannot engage a lawyer because of poverty. In this case, since the Additional Deputy Commissioner did not inform the appellant of his right to free legal assistance, and the accused remained unrepresented during trial, which led to a conviction; the trial was vitiated on account of the violation of the Fundamental Rights of the accused under Article 21 and the conviction was set aside.

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