List of Important Leading Judgements

THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 03 / 01 / 2019

INDIAN YOUNG LAWYER’S ASSOCIATION & ORS. V. STATE OF KERALA & ORS.
Devotion Cannot Be Subjected To Gender Discrimination, Women Entry Allowed In Sabarimala By 4:1 Majority; Lone Woman In The Bench Dissents

The Supreme Court delivered one of the most keenly awaited judgment in Sabarimala case. by a 4:1 majority, the Court has permitted entry of women of all age groups to the Sabarimala temple, holding that ‘devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination’. The lone woman in the bench, Justice Indu Malhotra, dissented.

THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 03 / 01 / 2019
NAVTEJ SINGH JOHAR& ORS. V. UNION OF INDIA
157-Year-Old Law Criminalizing Consensual Homo-Sexual Acts Between Adults Struck Down; Section 377 IPC Held Unconstitutional To That Extent
In a landmark Judgment Supreme Court of India struck down 157 year old law which criminalizes consensual homo sexual acts between adults. The Five Judge Bench declared Section 377 IPC unconstitutional, insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private.
THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 28 / 12 / 2018
JUSTICE K. S. PUTTUSWAMY (RETD.) AND ANR V. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
Sections 33(2),47& 57 Of Aadhaar Act Struck Down; National Security Exception Gone; Private Entities Cannot Demand Aadhaar Data
The judgment authored by Justice AK Sikri, which has concurrence of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, read down some of the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016, struck down a few but significant ones (mainly Section 33(2), 47 and 57), and upheld the rest.
THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 28 / 12 / 2018
JOSEPH SHINE V. UNION OF INDIA
Husband Is Not The Master Of Wife’, 158 Year Old Adultery Law Under Section 497 IPC Struck Down
The Supreme Court struck down 158 year old Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes adultery, as unconstitutional. The Court however clarified that adultery will be a ground for divorce. It was also stated that if an act of adultery leads the aggrieved spouse to suicide, the adulterous partner could be prosecuted for abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC.
THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 09 / 02 / 2019
COMMON CAUSE (A REGD. SOCIETY) V. UNION OF INDIA & ANR
Right To Die With Dignity A Fundamental Right, Passive Euthanasia And Living Will Allowed, Guidelines Issued
The Supreme Court of India held that right to die with dignity is a fundamental right. The Bench also held that passive euthanasia and a living will also legally valid. The Court issued detailed guidelines in this regard. The Bench also held that the right to live with dignity also includes the smoothening of the process of dying in case of a terminally ill patient or a person in Persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.
THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 28 / 12 / 2018
JARNAIL SINGH V LACHHMINARAIN GUPTA& ORS.
No Need To Collect Quantifiable Data Of Backwardness To Give Reservation In Promotions For SC/STs- Nagraj Decision Clarified; Reference To Larger Bench Declined
A Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that the 2006 Judgment in Nagraj Case, relating to reservations for SC/ST in promotions, need not be referred for consideration of larger Bench.However, the judgment by Justice Nariman clarified that there is no requirement to collect quantifiable data of backwardness of SC/STs to provide reservation in promotions. The dictum in Nagraj was held contrary to Indira Sawhney decision to the extent it prescribed collection of quantifiable data of backwardness as a prerequisite for providing reservation in promotions.
THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 06 / 02 / 2019
AGHNOO NAGESIA VS STATE OF BIHAR [ SC 1966]
The question before the court was whether the whole confessional statement in the first information report was banned by s. 25 of the Evidence Act or only those portions of it were barred which related to the actual commission of the crime. The supreme court held that
A confession or an admission is evidence against the maker of it, unless its admissibility is excluded by some provision of law.
Section 25 provides: ―No confession made to a police officer, shall be proved as against a person accused of an offence. The terms of Section 25 are imperative. A confession made to a police officer under any circumstances is not admissible in evidence against the accused.
It covers a confession made when he was free and not in police custody, as also a confession made before any investigation has begun.
Section 26 prohibits proof against any person of a confession made by him in the custody of a police officer, unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate. The partial ban imposed by Section 26 relates to a confession made to a person other than a police officer.
Section 26 does not qualify the absolute ban imposed by Section 25 on a confession made to a police officer.
Section 27 is in the form of a proviso, and partially lifts the ban imposed by Sections 24, 25 and 26. Section 27 distinctly contemplates that an information leading to a discovery may be a part of the confession of the accused and thus fall within the purview of Sections 24, 25 and 26. Section 27 thus shows that a confessional statement admitting the offence may contain additional information as part of the confession. Section 27 applies only to information received from a person accused of an offence in the custody of a police officer.
Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure forbids the use of any statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of an investigation for any purpose at any enquiry or trial in respect of the offence under investigation, save as mentioned in the proviso and in cases falling under sub-section (2), and it specifically provides that nothing in it shall be deemed to affect the provisions of Section 27 of the Evidence Act.
Except as provided by Section 27 of the Evidence Act, a confession by an accused to a police officer is absolutely protected under Section 25 of the Evidence Act, and if it is made in the course of an investigation, it is also protected by Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and a confession to any other person made by him while in the custody of a police officer is protected by Section 26, unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate.
A confession may consist of several parts and may reveal not only the actual commission of the crime but also the motive, the preparation, the provocation etc. If the confession is tainted, the taint attaches to each part of it. It is not permissible in law to separate one part and to admit it in evidence as a non-confessional statement.
THE SUPREME COURT UPLOAD DATE - 09 / 02 / 2019
LAXMAN V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA[ SC 2002]
With the reference of ‘Paparambaka Rosamma vs. State of A.P. it was contented that the certification of the doctor was not to the effect that the patient was in a fit state of mind to make the statement, the dying declaration could not have been accepted by the Court to form the sole basis of conviction.
If the materials on record indicate that the deceased was fully conscious and was capable of making a statement, the dying declaration of the deceased thus recorded cannot be ignored merely because the doctor had not made the endorsement that the deceased was in a fit state of mind to make the statement in question.
The situation in which a man is on the deathbed is so solemn and serene, is the reason in law to accept the veracity of his statement.
The court also must further decide that the deceased was in a fit state of mind and had the opportunity to observe and identify the assailant. Normally, therefore, the court in order to satisfy whether the deceased was in a fit mental condition to make the dying declaration looks up to the medical opinion. But where the eyewitnesses state that the deceased was in a fit and conscious state to make the declaration, the medical opinion will not prevail, nor can it be said that since there is no certification of the doctor as to the fitness of the mind of the declarant, the dying declaration is not acceptable.
What evidential value or weight has to be attached to such statement necessarily depends on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.

1 : INDIAN YOUNG LAWYER’S ASSOCIATION & ORS. V. STATE OF KERALA & ORS.

Devotion Cannot Be Subjected To Gender Discrimination, Women Entry Allowed In Sabarimala By 4:1 Majority; Lone Woman In The Bench Dissents

The Supreme Court delivered one of the most keenly awaited judgment in Sabarimala case. by a 4:1 majority, the Court has permitted entry of women of all age groups to the Sabarimala temple, holding that ‘devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination’. The lone woman in the bench, Justice Indu Malhotra, dissented.

2 : NAVTEJ SINGH JOHAR& ORS. V. UNION OF INDIA

157-Year-Old Law Criminalizing Consensual Homo-Sexual Acts Between Adults Struck Down; Section 377 IPC Held Unconstitutional To That Extent

In a landmark Judgment Supreme Court of India struck down 157 year old law which criminalizes consensual homo sexual acts between adults. The Five Judge Bench declared Section 377 IPC unconstitutional, insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private.

3 : JUSTICE K. S. PUTTUSWAMY (RETD.) AND ANR V. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

Sections 33(2),47& 57 Of Aadhaar Act Struck Down; National Security Exception Gone; Private Entities Cannot Demand Aadhaar Data

The judgment authored by Justice AK Sikri, which has concurrence of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, read down some of the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016, struck down a few but significant ones (mainly Section 33(2), 47 and 57), and upheld the rest.

JOSEPH SHINE V. UNION OF INDIA

Husband Is Not The Master Of Wife’, 158 Year Old Adultery Law Under Section 497 IPC Struck Down

The Supreme Court struck down 158 year old Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes adultery, as unconstitutional. The Court however clarified that adultery will be a ground for divorce. It was also stated that if an act of adultery leads the aggrieved spouse to suicide, the adulterous partner could be prosecuted for abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC.

5 : COMMON CAUSE (A REGD. SOCIETY) V. UNION OF INDIA & ANR

Right To Die With Dignity A Fundamental Right, Passive Euthanasia And Living Will Allowed, Guidelines Issued
The Supreme Court of India held that right to die with dignity is a fundamental right. The Bench also held that passive euthanasia and a living will also legally valid. The Court issued detailed guidelines in this regard. The Bench also held that the right to live with dignity also includes the smoothening of the process of dying in case of a terminally ill patient or a person in Persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

6 : JARNAIL SINGH V LACHHMINARAIN GUPTA& ORS.

No Need To Collect Quantifiable Data Of Backwardness To Give Reservation In Promotions For SC/STs- Nagraj Decision Clarified; Reference To Larger Bench Declined

A Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that the 2006 Judgment in Nagraj Case, relating to reservations for SC/ST in promotions, need not be referred for consideration of larger Bench.However, the judgment by Justice Nariman clarified that there is no requirement to collect quantifiable data of backwardness of SC/STs to provide reservation in promotions. The dictum in Nagraj was held contrary to Indira Sawhney decision to the extent it prescribed collection of quantifiable data of backwardness as a prerequisite for providing reservation in promotions.

7 : AGHNOO NAGESIA VS STATE OF BIHAR [ SC 1966]

The question before the court was whether the whole confessional statement in the first information report was banned by s. 25 of the Evidence Act or only those portions of it were barred which related to the actual commission of the crime. The supreme court held that

  1. A confession or an admission is evidence against the maker of it, unless its admissibility is excluded by some provision of law.
  2. Section 25 provides: ―No confession made to a police officer, shall be proved as against a person accused of an offence. The terms of Section 25 are imperative. A confession made to a police officer under any circumstances is not admissible in evidence against the accused.
  3.  It covers a confession made when he was free and not in police custody, as also a confession made before any investigation has begun.
  4. Section 26 prohibits proof against any person of a confession made by him in the custody of a police officer, unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate. The partial ban imposed by Section 26 relates to a confession made to a person other than a police officer.
  5. Section 26 does not qualify the absolute ban imposed by Section 25 on a confession made to a police officer.
  6. Section 27 is in the form of a proviso, and partially lifts the ban imposed by Sections 24, 25 and 26. Section 27 distinctly contemplates that an information leading to a discovery may be a part of the confession of the accused and thus fall within the purview of Sections 24, 25 and 26. Section 27 thus shows that a confessional statement admitting the offence may contain additional information as part of the confession. Section 27 applies only to information received from a person accused of an offence in the custody of a police officer.
  7.  Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure forbids the use of any statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of an investigation for any purpose at any enquiry or trial in respect of the offence under investigation, save as mentioned in the proviso and in cases falling under sub-section (2), and it specifically provides that nothing in it shall be deemed to affect the provisions of Section 27 of the Evidence Act.
  8. Except as provided by Section 27 of the Evidence Act, a confession by an accused to a police officer is absolutely protected under Section 25 of the Evidence Act, and if it is made in the course of an investigation, it is also protected by Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and a confession to any other person made by him while in the custody of a police officer is protected by Section 26, unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate.
  9. A confession may consist of several  parts  and may reveal not only the actual commission of the crime but also the motive, the preparation, the provocation etc. If the confession is tainted, the taint attaches to each part of it. It is not permissible in law to separate one part and to admit it in evidence as a non-confessional statement.

8 : LAXMAN V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA[ SC 2002]

1 .With the reference of ‘Paparambaka Rosamma vs. State of A.P. it was contented that the certification of the doctor was not to the effect that the patient was in a fit state of mind to make the statement, the dying declaration could not have been accepted by the Court to form the sole basis of conviction.

2. If the materials on record indicate that the deceased was fully conscious and was capable of making a statement, the dying declaration of the deceased thus recorded cannot be ignored merely because the doctor had not made the endorsement that the deceased was in a fit state of mind to make the statement in question.

3. The situation in which a man is on the deathbed is so solemn and serene, is the reason in law to accept the veracity of his statement.

4. The court also must further decide that the deceased was in a fit state of mind and had the opportunity to observe and identify the assailant. Normally, therefore, the court in order to satisfy whether the deceased was in a fit mental condition to make the dying declaration looks up to the medical opinion. But where the eyewitnesses state that the deceased was in a fit and conscious state to make the declaration, the medical opinion will not prevail, nor can it be said that since there is no certification of the doctor as to the fitness of the mind of the declarant, the dying declaration is not acceptable.

5. What evidential value or weight has to be attached to such statement necessarily depends on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.