Some Landmark Legal Cases In India And What They Tell Us!

Precedents are an important source of law. While the legislation introduces new laws, it is the responsibility of the judiciary to interpret these laws correctly in the cases it deals with. It is these very cases that help the Indian legal system evolve.

Landmark judgments in India are generally handed down by the Supreme Court. Most of the historical sentences are pronounced by the constitutional chambers of the Supreme Court. However, that is not to say that the High Court does not deliver landmark rulings. Let’s delve into some of these important judgments.

Important legal cases in India

Generally, historical sentences are handed down by a panel of five or more judges, which constitute the constitutional panel. It is important to note that judgments from two courts or from one court may generally not be very essential unless such courts are interpreting an important provision of the Indian Constitution.

Now that we are clear on the background, let us take a look at some of the important case rulings in India.

  • Shreya Singhal v. Union of India

In this case, the Honorable High Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, saying it violated freedom of expression, which is an important fundamental right. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India found Section 66A unconstitutional.

  • MC Mehta v Union of India (1986)

In the case of MC Mehta v. Union of India (1986), the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India introduced the “Principle of Absolute Liability”. It stated that in situations where industries like Shriram actually engage in inherently risky acts, the absolute liability rule will apply. The applicability of the absolute liability rule in such cases would mean that any industry that engages in dangerous activities that may cause harm to the people who work in it or, in general, through an accident or danger to the environment, would be held absolutely responsible.

  • Indira Sawhney v. Union of India (1992)

In this case, the Court confirmed the application of the recommendations of the Report of the Mandal Commission. He explained the “creamy coating” and claimed that reservations could not actually exceed 50 percent of total available seats.

  • Rajgopal v. State of Tamil Nadu (1994)

In this case, the Court held that the right to privacy is actually part of the right to life and liberty conferred on the citizens of India through Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. He claimed that the right to privacy is actually the “right to be left alone.”

  • Vishakha v. Rajasthan State (1997)

In this 1997 case, the Court explained what “sexual harassment in the workplace” is. He raised the guidelines that are a mandate to comply with in the workplace against sexual harassment.

  • Chairman, Railway Board v. Chandrima Das (2000)

Last on our list is the case of Chairman, Railway Board v. Chandrima Das (2000). The Court stated that the right to life is actually conferred also on non-citizens of India who come to India for tourism or other purposes.

Food to go

While it is impossible to list all the major cases that have ever occurred in India, this was just a short list of some of the most important historical cases in India. The list will be updated over and over again as new sentences are passed.

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