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1. Champakam Dorairajan State of Madras,1951

In this case caste based reservations were stuck down by the court, as against Article 16(2) of the
Constitution. This case resulted in First Amendment of the Constitution of India.

2. M. Nanavativ. State of Maharashtra, 1960

K.M. Nanavati, a naval Officer, who murdered his wifes lover, Prem Ahuja. Bombay High Court
guilty of murder of Prem Ahuja. The apex court overturned the High Courts decision and held
Nanavati not guilty of murder.

3. Golaknath State of Punjab1967

The Apex court held that law made by the Parliament shall not be such that infringes and takes
away the fundamental rights of the citizen which are provided by the Constitution of India.

4. Madhav Jiwaji Rao Scindia Union of India, 1970

The infamous case, Madhav Jiwaji Rao Scindia v. Union of India deals with Article 18 of the
Constitution of India. The Supreme Court in this case held the 1970 Presidential order as invalid,
abolishing titles, privileges and privy purses of Indias erstwhile princely rulers.

5. Kesavananda BharatiState of Kerala, 1973

The Supreme Court gave Parliament power to amend any part of Constitution of India, provided
such amendment do not take away the fundamental rights of the citizen which are provided by the
Constitution of India. This case is also referred as Fundamental rights case.

6. Indira Gandhi Raj Narain, 1975

The Supreme Court held clause 4 of 39th amendment as unconstitutional and void as it was out
rightly denied of the right to equality enshrined in Article 14. The Supreme Court also added the
following features as basic features laid down in Keshavananda Bharti case

judicial review,
rule of law and
jurisdiction of Supreme Court under Article 32.

7. D.M. Jabalpur v. S. Shukla, 1976

The apex Court in the infamous case of A.D.M. Jabalpur v. S. Shukla held, during prevailing of
emergency in the country, right to move to the court for enforcement of fundamental rights
guaranteed under Article 14, 21 and 22 stands suspended.

8. Maneka Gandhi Union of India, 1978

The case is considered a landmark case as it gave a new and highly varied interpretation to the
meaning of life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. Also, it expanded the
horizons of freedom of speech and expression. The case saw a high degree of judicial activism.

9. Minerva Mills Union of India,1980

The Supreme Court of India, strengthened the doctrine of the basic structure which was
propounded earlier in the Keshavananda Bharti Case and held social welfare laws should not
infringe fundamental rights. Few changes made by the 42nd Amendment Act were declared as
null and void.

10. S P Gupta v. Union of India, 1981

The S P Gupta case is also called the First Judges Case. It declared that the primacy of the CJIs
recommendation to the President can be refused for cogent reasons. It was overruled by Supreme
Court Advocates-on Record Association v. Union of India.

11. Rajan Case, 1981

The case led to resignation of K. Karunakaran, then the home minister, and imprisonment of the
officers who were involved in the torture and death of a final year engineering student in custody.

12. Kehar Singh Delhi Administration, 1984

Kehar singh, who murdered the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was sentenced death.
But, the sentence of death to Kehar Singh has been questioned many times before the Courts.
13. Mohd Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano begum, 1985

Muslim personal law was challenged in this petition. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Shah
Bano and granted her alimony which the Muslim community felt as an encroachment on Muslim
Sharia law. The decision of the case led to the formation of the All India Muslim Personal Law
Board in 1973.

14. MC Mehta v. Union of India, 1986

MC Mehta filed a Public Interest Litigation for escape of poisonous gases by a plant in Bhopal.
The court in this case extended the scope of Article 21 and 32 of the Constitution of India. The
case is also famous as Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

15. Ramesh Dalal Union of India, 1988

The case basically dealt with the subject of pre-Partition communal violence along with how its
depiction does not violate any of Constitutional articles.

16. Indra Swahey v. Union of India, 1992

The Court upheld the implementation of recommendations made by the Mandal Commission. It
defined the creamy layer criteria. It also reiterated that the quota could not exceed 50 per cent.

17. Supreme Court Advocates-on Record Association v. Union of India, 1993

It overruled S P Gupta v. Union of India. Court held primacy of Chief justice cannot be taken
away in appointment and transfer of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts. It recommended
constitution of collegiums of judges for the same. The case is named as Second judges transfer

18. SR Bommai v. Union of India, 1993

The court in this case curtailed power of President under Article 356 of the constitution of India.
It also held that secularism is the basic structure of the Constitution.

19. Babri Masjid, Ayodhya Case, 1994

The case questioned the Constitutional validity of the acquisition of an area beside/adjoining the
disputed site and the Supreme Court upheld status quo on the disputed structures.
20. Rajagopalv. State of Tamil Nadu, 1994

The court in this case decided that the right to privacy subsisted even if a matter becomes one of
public record and hence right to be let alone is part of personal liberty.

21. Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation, 1985

This case came before the Supreme Court as a writ petition. 5 judge-bench gave decision
allowing petitioners who live on pavements and in slums in the city of Bombay to stay on the
pavements against their order of eviction. The court also held that right to livelihood is a right to
life as per Article 21.

22. Stephens College v. University of Delhi,1992

The identity of St. Stephens College as a minority-run institution was put in question as it
received grant-in-aid from the Government. The court ruled that grants could not change the
minority character of any institution.

23. Sarla MudgalUnion of India, 1995

The Court held that if a Hindu converts to Muslim and then have a second marriage, he can not
do so, irrespective of the fact that polygamy is allowed in Islamic Law.

24. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Union of India, 1995

An association was banned by the High Court due to its unlawful activities. But, when this was
brought o the Supreme Court of India, the court held that due to lack of evidence, the same
cannot be banned.

25. Samatha State of Andhra Pradesh, 1997

The Supreme Court held that lease of land, tribal land, and forest land in scheduled areas
operations is not allowed to private companies or non-tribal for mining or industrial and such
activity can only be done by a government undertaking or by tribal people.

26. Vishaka State of Rajasthan, 1997

This case came before the Supreme Court as a Public Interest Litigation against State of
Rajasthan and Union of India by Vishakha and other women groups. The petitioners demanded
enforcement fundamental rights for working women under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the
Constitution. For this, Vishaka Guidelines were issued. The judgment also provided basic
definitions of sexual harassment at the workplace along with provided guidelines to deal with the

27. Best bakery case 2003

The Best Bakery was burned down. This resulted in death of 14 people on March 1, 2002 as part
of the 2002 Gujarat violence. The Supreme court held this as a rarest of rare case and ordered a
re-trial outside of Gujarat. A Special Court in Mumbai was formed in 2006 which gave
conviction to nine out of the seventeen accused.

28. State of Tamil Nadu v. S. Katti, 2004

In this case, first case where conviction under was the Information Technology Act, 2000held.
Here a family friend of a divorced woman was accused of posting her number online on
messenger groups which led to her being harassed by multiple lewd messages. That accused
friend was later convicted and sentenced.

29. Rameshwar Prasad v. Union of India, 2005

In this case, the petitioner challenged the constitutional validity of a notification. The notification
ordered dissolution of the legislative Assembly of the state of Bihar on the ground that attempts
were being made to get majority by illegal means. It also laid claim to form the government in the
state if continued would lead to tampering with constitutional provisions. The Supreme Court
held that notification was unconstitutional.

30. PA Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra, 2004

The case was decided by a 2-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, in which the dispute related to
the fixation of quota in unaided professional institutions and to the holding of examinations for
admission into such colleges was challenged.

31. Om Prakash Dil Bahar, 2006

The Supreme Court held that even if the medical reports do not prove that it was rape, a rape
accused could be convicted on the sole evidence of the victim.
32. Priyadarshini Mattoo case 2006

In this matter the Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence awarded to prime accused
Santosh Singh who was a son of former IPS officer, to life imprisonment for the murder and rape
of the 23-year-old law student, Priyadarshini Mattoo.

33. Jessica Murder case 2006

A model in New Delhi working as a bartender was shot dead. The prime accused Manu Sharma
who son of Congress MP Vinod Sharma was initially acquitted in February 2006. But later, in
December 2006 was sentenced to life imprisonment by a fast track hearing by the Delhi High
Court. This Supreme Court of India approved the sentence.

34. Aarushi talwar case, 2008

The involved the double murder of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and her 45-year-old domestic
servant in Noida, Haryana. The case got a heavy media coverage. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar,
parents of the murdered girl were convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment by Sessions

35. Nithari Serial Murder Case, 2009

Surinder Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher were awarded death sentence by a Special Sessions
Court for the murder of a 14-year-old girl in 2009. They believed to have committed the same in

36. Naz foundation v. NCT, 2009

The court decriminalized sexual activities against the order of nature which included
homosexual acts, as per Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. But this judgement was overruled
in 2013 by the Supreme Court of India.

37. Ajmal Kasab State of Maharashtra, 2012

The Supreme Court held that the acts on November 26, 2008, had shaken the collective
conscience of Indian citizens. It confirmed death sentence awarded to prime accused of the
November 26, 2008, incident and for waging war against India, Ajmal Kasab by the trial court
and affirmed by the Bombay High Court.
38. Lily Thomas v. Union of India, 2013

The Supreme Court of India held that if any members of a legislative council (MLC), member of
the legislative assembly (MLA) or members of Parliament (MP) who was convicted of a crime
and awarded a minimum of two-year imprisonment, he/she shall lose membership of the House
with immediate effect.

39. NALSA v. Union of India, 2014

The Court recognized rights of the transgender as third genders. Also, ordered government to
treat them as minorities. Reservations in jobs, education and other amenities shall also be
provided to them.

40. Shreya singhal v. Union of India, 2015

The apex Court held section 66A of the Information Technology Act which allowed arrests for
objectionable content posted on the internet as unconstitutional and hence, struck down by the
impugned section.