Precedent is an important source of law. Although the law introduces new laws, the judicial body is responsible for interpreting these laws in the right way through the cases it handles. It was these cases that helped develop the legal system in India.
Usually, landmark rulings in India are actually declared by the Apex Courts. The majority of landmark rulings were announced by the Supreme Court’s constitutional judges. However, that does not mean that the Supreme Court does not issue landmark rulings. Let’s dive into some of these important observations.
Important Legal Cases in India
Generally, landmark rulings are made by a group of five or more judges, which is considered a constitutional adjudication body. It is important to note that the decisions of two courts or one judgment may not often be necessary unless those courts interpret an important provision of the Indian Constitution.
Now that we have the context, let’s take a look at some of the important trials in India.
- Shreya Singhal sues Union of India
In this case, the Hon’ble Apex Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, saying it violated freedom of speech and expression, which is an important fundamental right. The Hon’ble High Court of India found Section 66A to be unconstitutional.
- MC Mehta v Union of India (1986)
In MC Mehta v Union of India (1986), the Hon’ble High Court of India introduced the “Principle of Absolute Responsibility”. It states that in cases where industries like Shriram actually engage in potentially risky practices, the absolute liability rule will apply. The applicability of the rule of absolute liability in such cases means that any industry that is dealing with hazardous activities that could harm the people who work there or in general by accident or hazardous to the environment, will bear full responsibility.
- Indira Sawhney v. Union of India (1992)
In this case, the Court upheld the application of the recommendations of the Mandal Commission Report. It explains the “ice cream” and states that actual bookings cannot exceed 50% of the total number of seats available.
- Rajgopal v Bang tamil Nadu (1994)
In this case, the Court asserted that the right to privacy is indeed a part of the right to life and liberty granted to the citizens of India through Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It claims that privacy is really a “right to be left alone”.
- Vishakha v State of Rajasthan (1997)
In this 1997 case, the Court explained what “sexual harassment at work” means. It sets forth mandatory guidelines to be followed in the workplace to combat sexual harassment.
- Railway Board Chairman sued Chandrima Das (2000)
The last case on our list is that of the Chairman of the Board of Railways v. Chandrima Das (2000). The Court held that the right to life is indeed granted to those who are not Indian citizens as well as those who come to India for tourism or other purposes.
While it is impossible to list all the important cases that have happened in India, this is just a brief list of some of the important landmark cases in India. This list will be updated regularly as new rulings are passed.
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