Laws are drafted and implemented for the state to function, public to perform their duties and abstain from committing which isn’t prescribed by law but time to time there is need to change some laws, to interpret them, to justify and to explain and that is the reason the established courts are over burdened with cases of people seeking remedies and justice. But few precedents change the course of legal world, open and explore more dimensions so that statute are modified by time for best results few of such Landmark cases are as following:
1. Kesavananda Bharati V. State of Kerala
The Constitution is the supreme law of land, a parent statute that inspires the legal system of a state. Indian constitution can be amended through Article 368 but it was in this act that question raised that:
“Up to what an extent can the constitution be amended?”
Kesavananda Bharati was a Chief Priest of a religious mutt and during 1963 Kerala land reform was implemented due to which a portion of his land was taken, Kesavananda Bharati acknowledges it to be a violation of his fundamental right and went to supreme court to seek justice.
A 13-judge bench of the Supreme Court gave birth to the “doctrine of Basic structure”, and stated that the constitution can be amended but its basic structure shall be respected and left unhindered. Justice H.R Khanna gave few principles of what shall the basic structure doctrine consist like Rule of Law, Federalism, Secularism, Welfare State, Parliamentary form of Government, Free and Fair Election, Sovereign and Democratic Republic, Independence of Judiciary, Doctrine of Separation of Power.
2. Minerva mills v. Union of India
In this landmark case the court faced serious concerns about parliament having power to amend the Constitution. Government changes, parties in power changes but nothing shall hamper the peace of nation and spirit of constitution, where parliament has jurisdiction to amend the constitution, that power shall be restricted, controlled and shall not be in violation of basic structure. This landmark case also established the relationship between part III and part IV of the constitution with that “Judicial Review” was inserted in the Doctrine of basic Structure.
3. Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India
Articles of the constitution are subject to interpretations by court, this case widens the scope of Article 19 of the constitution. Here the airport authority as per the established Act seized the passport of Maneka Gandhi without providing proper justification which she claimed to be against A 19 of the Constitution. Court acknowledged and stated “due process of law” to be an integral part of A19.
4. Naz foundation v. government of NCT of Delhi
Where gender in India is not only categorized but classified in ranks and there was found need to introduce gender neutral laws, laws identifying genders more than man and woman, this case brought revolution in country where statue became more liberal and gender neutral.
Naz Foundation filed an appeal in Court against the government to seek demolition of Section 377 of Indian penal code which restricted any form of sexual intercourse within LGBTQ community or homosexuality claiming it to be unnatural. Such section was argued to be against fundamental rights of people which are not heterosexual. Court agreed to the contentions and section 377 was repealed.
5. Shayara Bano v. Union of India (Triple talaq)
A Case which initially was to seek alimony then brought revolution to how Personal laws were perceived in courts. In Islam men could divorce their wife mere by uttering “Talaq” thrice which made women vulnerable and in many cases because of lack of economic independence took away shelter. Such practice which were performed were alleged in violation of fundamental Rights of women, to which court agreed and was criminalized.
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