Some of the judgments based by the Supreme Court have shaped and given more meaning to the Constitution of India. Below are a few of those important landmark cases:
A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras
AK Gopalan was detained under the Preventive Detention Act 1950. He filed a petition challenging the validity of the Act. The petition challenged the legitimacy of the Act as it took away the basic fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 13, 19 & 21, and 22 of the Indian Constitution.
In the AK Gopalan case, the Court held that any competent authority could deprive a person of his life or personal liberty. In the A.K.Gopalan Case, Article 21 was interpreted extremely literally.
Indra Swahney v. Union of India
Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, known as the Mandal Commission case, is a very significant pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the question of reservation of posts for backward classes. The Court has dealt with this question in a very exhaustive manner. This case has overruled the judgment laid down in the case of Devadasan v. Union of India stating that the rule of carried forward is applicable unless it does not breach the 50% rule. Analysis of this case gives a clear picture of how reservation works in India.
Maneka Gandhi v. UOI
Maneka Gandhi, a journalist whose passport was issued on June 1, 1976, under the Passport Act, 1967. The very next year, the Regional Passport Officer ordered her to surrender her passport. And later, the Ministry of External Affairs declined to state the reason “in the interest of the general public.”
When a writ petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India stating the seize of her passport as the violation of her fundamental rights; specifically Article 14 (Right to Equality), Article 19 (Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression), and Article 21 (Right to Life and Liberty) guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
Maneka Gandhi’s case is considered a landmark case for the interpretation of Article 21. This case also threw an entire viewpoint of Chapter III of the Indian Constitution.
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