Human rights

Human Rights judgments by Indian Supreme Court

A.K. Gopalan v. The State of Madras. Union Of India: Intervener, 1950 SCR 88.

(May 19, 1950).

The plaintiff was detained under the “Preventive Detention Act (Act IV of 1950). The plaintiff applied under article 32 of the constitution for a writ of hapeas corpus for release from detention, on the grounds that the act was unconstitutional, and went against article 13, 19, 21, 22. He claimed that his detention was illegal.

The court held that the act, with the exception of section 14, was not in “contravene” of the articles of constitution, and since the invalidity of section 14 did not affect the validity of the whole act, the detention was not illegal.

“Section 14 of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, contravenes the provisions of Art. 9.9. (5) of the Constitution in so far as it prohibits a person detained from disclosing to the Court the grounds on which a detention order has been made or the representation made by him against the order of detention, and is to that extent ultra vires and void.”

The State of West Bengal v. Subodh Gopal Bose and others., 1954 SCR 587.

December 17, 1953.

Pandit M.S.M. Sharma v. Shri Sri Krishna Sinha and others., 1959 SCR Supl. (1) 806. December 12, 1958.

“The plaintiff petitioner is the Editor of the English daily newspaper “Searchlight of Patna.” The Secretary of the Patna Legislative Assembly called him to address the Committee of Privileges of the Assembly about why breached the privileges of the Speaker and the Assembly by publishing in its entirety a speech delivered in the Assembly by a member. The speaker of the Assembly had asked for portions of the speech to be expunged. The plaintiff petitioner now contends that the notice given to him by the respondent was in violation of his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Art. 19(1)(a) and of the protection of his personal liberty under Art. 21 of the Indian Constitution. He held that an editor of a newspaper was entitled “to all the benefits of the freedom of the Press.” The respondents, the legislature, relied on Art. 194(3) Of the Constitution to claim that the proceedings in the House just as those in the British House of Commons were not usually meant to be published. Furthermore the respondents held that the plaintiff could not publish parts of speech that were directed to be expunged and they were not part of an official report.

Holding: Since the Bihar Legislature had made no law governing its powers and privileges under Entry 39 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, the question at hand was were the powers, privileges and immunities of the House at the time of the commencement of the Constitution. The liberty of the Press is implicit in the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to a citizen under Art. 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and that must include the freedom of propagation of ideas ensured by the freedom of circulation. “The effect in law of the order of the Speaker to expunge a portion of the speech of a member might be as if that portion had not been spoken and a report of the whole speech despite the speaker’s order might be regarded as a perverted and unfaithful report and Prima facie constitute a breach of the privilege of the Assembly. Whether there had in fact been a breach of the privilege of the Assembly was, however, a matter for the Assembly alone to judge,” not the legislature. Therefore the court issues a Writ of Prohibition, to restrain the “respondents from proceeding against the petitioner for the alleged breach of privilege by publishing in the issue of the ” Searchlight “,

dated May 31, 1957, an account of the debate of the House (Legislative Assembly, Bihar) of May 30, 1957.”

Sardar Syenda Taher Saifuddin Saheb v. The State of Bombay, 11962 SCR Supl. (2) 496, 962 AIR 853.

January 9, 1962.

The plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of the Bombay Prevention of Excommunication Act, 1949 (Bom. 42 of 1949), it is provided that “Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, custom or usage for the time being in force, to the contrary, no excommunication of member of any community shall be valid and shall

be of any effect.” It was enacted to keep with the “changing times” and therefore it was in the best public interest, “to stop the practice of excommunication prevalent in certain communities.” The definition of the word “community” contained in the Act includes the religious denomination of Dawoodi Bohras.

Holding: The court held that excommunication was part of the Dawoodi Bohra community, and “that the exercise of the power of excommunication by its religious head on religious grounds formed part of the management of its affairs in matters of religion and the impugned Act in making even such excommunication invalid infringed the right of the community” under the Constitution. “The purity of the fellowship is secured by the removal of persons who had rendered themselves unfit and unsuitable for membership of the sect.” The right to excommunicate “for the purpose of ensuring the preservation of the community, has therefore a prime significance in the religious life of every member of the group.” Therefore a legislation that penalizes such power, cannot “be sustained as a measure of the social welfare or social reform without” being unconstitutional.

Kameshwar Prasad and others v. The State of Bihar and Another. 1962 SCR Supl. (3) 369, 1962 AIR 1166.

February 22, 1962.

The plaintiff holds that the “Bihar Government Servants’ Conduct Rules” which states “No government servant shall participate in any demonstration or resort to any form of strike in connection with any matter pertaining to his conditions of service,” is unconstitutional. The court held that the part about prohibiting “any form of demonstrations” was in violation of the plaintiff’s rights under article 19 of the constitution. However, the act cannot be struck down because it prohibits a strike, because there is “no fundamental right to resort to a strike.”

Smt. Sarla Mudgal, President Kalyani & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., 1995 SCC (3) 635, 1995 AIR 1531.

October 5, 1995.

This is a freedom of religion case. There was an attempt to create a unified personal law for all citizens of India, which mainly effects marriage. But the first PM did not think fitting of the time pass such a law. This case brings to the Supreme Court, to bring about this law. The court held: “ Freedom is the core of our culture. Even the slightest deviation shakes the social fiber. `But religious practices, volatile of human

rights and dignity and sacerdotal suffocation of essentially civil and material freedoms, are not autonomy but oppression’. Therefore, a unified code is imperative both

for protection of the oppressed and promotion of national unity and solidarity. But the first step should be to rationalize the personal law of the minorities to develop

religious and cultural amity. The Government would be well advised to entrust the responsibility to the Law Commission which may in consultation with Minorities Commission examine the matter and bring about the comprehensive legislation in

keeping with modern day concept of human rights for women. The Government may also consider feasibility of appointing a Committee to enact Conversion of Religion Act, immediately, to check the abuse of religion by any person. The law may provide that every citizen who changes his religion cannot marry another wife unless he divorces his first wife. The provision should be made applicable to every person whether he is a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian or a Sikh or a Jain or a Budh. Provision may be made for maintenance and succession etc. also to avoid clash of interest after death. This would go a long way to solve the problem and pave the way for a unified civil code.

Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, A.I.R. 1997 S.C. 3011

The court provided for guidelines to protect women workers from sexual harassment, where Articles 14 and 19 of the constitution were found violated and the legislature had failed to act.

Apparel Export Promotion Council v. A.K. Chopra, (1999) 1 S.C.C. 759.

The court found that there is a distinction between attempt to molest and completed act erroneous in context of dismissal of employee for sexual harassment.

Narashimaha Murthy v. Susheelabai (Smt), (1996) 3 S.C.C. 644.

The court upheld gender-differential statutory coparcenary division.

Narmada Bachao Aandolan v Union of India and Others AIR 2000 SC 3751.

October 18, 2000.

The issue was whether the displacement of indigenous and tribal populations in relation to the building of a dam on the Narmada River violates their rights under the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1957 (ILO Convention 107).

The court held that treaties can be read into domestic laws of India. However the removal of the tribal people with a program of rehabilitation is not in violation of the convention. The land allotted to the tribal people should at the least be of equal quality. Displacement of the tribal people is not a violation of their fundamental human rights.

Kharak Singh v. State of UP, 1 SCR 332 (1964).

The Indian Constitution does not explicitly recognize the right to privacy. This Supreme Court case was to recognize that there is a right to privacy implicit in article 21 of the Constitution, which states “No person shall be deprive of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” The court ruled that the police visits to a person’s house at night to verify his whereabouts was an invasion of privacy.

Shri Ramakant Rai and Health Watch U.P. and Bihar v. Union of India and Others ,

Women have the human right to voluntary sterilization services that are not coercive, discriminatory or violent. The court asked state governments to take steps to regulate doctors and other providers who perform sterilization procedures.

I.C. Golaknath & others v. State of Punjab & others. , 1967 AIR 1643, 1967 SCR (2) 762.

February 27, 1967.

“Fundamental Rights cannot be abridged or taken away by the amending procedure in Ail. 368 of the Constitution. An amendment to the Constitution is ‘law’ within the meaning of Art. 13(2) and is therefore subject to Part III of the Constitution.”

H.H. Maharajadhiraja Madhav Rao Jiwaji RaoscIndia Bahadur v. Union of India , 1971 SCR (3) 9.

December 15, 1970.

Ediga Anamma v. State of Andhra Pradesh , 1974 AIR 799, 1974 SCR (3) 329.

February 11, 1974.

This is a case dealing with the death penalty, and commutation of the death sentence to a life imprisonment for a woman who committed murder. Her tribal ethnicity and gender figured heavily in the Supreme Court’s analysis.

“In India the subject of capital punishment has abortively come before Parliament earlier, although our social scientists have not made any sociological or statistical study in depth yet. On the statutory side there has been a significant change since India became free. Under s.367(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code, as it stood before its amendment by Act 26 of 1955, the normal rule was to sentence to death a person convicted for murder and to impose the lesser sentence for reasons to be recorded in writing. By amendment, this provision was deleted with the result that the court is now free to award either death sentence or life imprisonment, unlike formerly when death was the rule and life term the exception, for recorded reasons. In the new Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 a great change has overtaken the law. Section 354(3) reads : When the conviction is for an offence punishable with death or, in the alternative, with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of years, the judgment shall state the reasons for the sentence awarded, and, in the case of sentence of death, the special reasons for such sentence.” The unmistakable shift in legislative emphasis is that life imprisonment for murder is the rule and capital sentence the exception to be.” The court decides that social and economic factors play a role in commuting death sentences to life imprisonment, and decided that in this case the sentence could be commuted.

Jagdish Prasad v. The state of Bihar and another. 1974 SCR (3) 369.

February 13, 1974.

Case on unlawful detention for reasons stated as being “anti-social” activities.

Nawabkhan Abbaskhan v. The state of Gujarat . 1974 AIR 1471, 1974 SCR (3) 427.

February 19, 1974.

An “externment” order which infringed a fundamental freedom passed in violation of the audi alteram partem rule was a ‘nullity. A determination is no determination if it is

contrary to the constitutional mandate of Art. 19.” Any order made without hearing

the party affected is void and ineffectual to bind parties from the beginning if the in jury is to a constitutionally guaranteed right. May be that in ordinary legislation or at

common law a Tribunal having Jurisdiction and failing to hear the parties may commit an illegality which may render the proceedings voidable when a direct attack was made thereon by way of appeal, revision or review, but nullity is the consequence of unconstitutionality and so the order of an administrative authority charged with the duty of complying with natural justice in the exercise of power before restricting the fundamental right of a citizen is void abinitio and of no legal efficacy.”

The Ahmedabad St. Xaviers College Society & Anr. Etc. v. State of Gujarat & Anr. , 1975 SCR (1) 173.

April 26, 1974.

The petitioner contended that as religious and Linguistic minorities they had a

fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice as also the right to affiliation. The court held “There, is no fundamental right to affiliation. But recognition or affiliation is necessary for a meaningful exercise of the right to establish and administer educational institutions.

Govind v. State of Madhya Pradesh. , 1975 SCR (3) 946.

March 18, 1975.

The petitioner was placed on a surveillance registry and regularly surveillanced, pursuant to a regulation created by the government of Madhya Pradesh. He is challenging the validity of the law that gives discretion to the district superintendent to determine whether a person is “leading a life of crime” that is dangerous enough to put his/her name on the registry. Such surveillance includes “domiciliary visits.” The court held the law legal and in accordance with the police act, since the only purpose was to see whether the “individual is at home or gone out of it for commission of offences.” However the court warned that it behooved the state to revise its police surveillance in order to conform with constitutional rights.

State of Kerala & ANR. V. N.M. Thomas & Ors. , 1976 SCR (1) 906.

November 19, 1975.

“The classification of employees belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for allowing them an extended period of two years for passing the special tests for promotion is a just and reasonable classification haring rational nexus to the object of providing equal opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to public offices.”

Rohtas Industries Ltd. & Anr. v. Rohtas Industries Staff Union & Ors.1976 SCR (3) 12.

December 18, 1975.

Article 226(1A) reiterates that writ power can be exercised against any person by reference to the residence of such person. Writ power is necessary to counter any possible violations of human rights.

Additional Distrcit Magistrate Jabalpur v. S.S. Shukla etc. 1976 SCR 172.

April 28, 1976.

The court held: “In view of the Presidential order dated 27 June 1975 no person has any locus standi to move any writ petition under Article 226 before a High Court for habeas corpus or any other writ or order or direction to challenge the legality of an, order of detention on the ground that the order is not under or in compliance with the Act or is illegal or is vitiated by malafides factual or legal or is based on extraneous consideration.”

This case is a blemish in Indian jurisprudence history, when it suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Indian “Emergency,” and failed to regulate government action.

Satwant Singh Sawhney v. D. Ramarathnam, Assistant Passport Officer, Government of India, New Delhi & Ors.(1) . 1967 SCR (2) 525.

April 10, 1967.

“Court ruled by majority that the expression “personal liberty” which occurs in article 21 of the Constitution includes the right to travel abroad and that no person can be deprived of that right except according to procedure established by law.”

Nandini Satpathy v. Dani P.L. and Anr. 1978 SCR (3) 608.

April 7, 1978

Case dealing with self incrimination.

National Human Rights Commission v. State of Arunachal Pradesh, 1996 SCC (1) 742.

January 9, 1996

The court’s judgment secured the human rights of indigenous peoples in Arunachal Pradesh. The Court ruled for the end of the illegal evictions of Chakmas and Hajongs from their homes and for their protection by paramilitary means if necessary.

Prakash Singht & ors. v. Union of, Writ Petition (civil) 310 of 1996.

September 22, 2006.

Supreme Court decision on police reforms.

Vishaka v State of Rajasthan, AIR 1997 SC 3011, (1998) 3 Butterworths Human Rights Cases 261. 

What constitutes sexual harassment. Found sexual harassment to be in violation of fundamental rights to gender equality and the right to life and liberty.

Apparel Export Promotion Council v Chopra, Civ App Nos 226-227 of 1999.

The court applied the sexual harassment jurisprudence developed in Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan for the first time.

Zahira Habibulla H Sheikh and Anr. v. State of Gujarat and Ors., Appeal (crl.) 446-449 of 2004.

The court ordered new investigations, and for the retrials to be outside of Gujarat for those individuals who had been acquitted in a court in Gujarat. The case dealt with the communal unrest between Hindus and Muslims, and the Gujarat government’s part and inaction in fairly investigating.

Madhav Hayawandanrao Hoskot v. State of Maharashtra , 1979 SCR (1) 192.

August 17, 1978.

Holding: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty, except according to procedure established by law. One component of ‘fair procedure’ is natural justice. Generally speaking and subject to just exceptions, at least a single right of appeal on facts, where criminal conviction is fraught with long loss of liberty, is basic to civilized jurisprudence. It is integral to fair procedure, natural justice and normative universality save in special cases like the original tribunal being a high bench sitting on a collegiate basis. In short, a first appeal from the Sessions Court to the High Court, as provided in the Criminal Procedure Code, manifests this value upheld in Art.” Therefore the state has to provide service of a copy of the judgment to the prisoner in time to file an appeal and provisions for “free legal services to a prisoner who is indigent or otherwise disabled from securing legal assistance where the ends of justice call for such service.”

Moti Ram & Ors v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1979 SCR (1) 335.

August 24, 1978.

The case dealt with reforming bail laws.

Sunil Batra etc. v. Delhi Administration and ors. etc., 1979 SCR (1) 392.

August 30, 1978.

This case examined the fundamental rights of those imprisoned, especially those who were awaiting the death sentence. Specifically it addressed the living conditions of prisoners. It ruled that according to the penal codes, solitary confinement cannot be authorized by a prison official. It is to be authorized by court mandate only.

Rajendra Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1979 SCR (3) 78.

February 9, 1979.

The case dealt with the death penalty, and when it should or should not be imposed. Need to have special reasons to impose the death penalty. The special reasons should relate to the criminal. The court looked at the developing jurisprudence and laws on the death penalty in the United States and the United Kingdom in its analysis.

Hussainara Khatoon & Ors v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar, Govt. of Bihar, Patna, 1979 SCR (3) 169.

February 12, 1979.

The case dealt with the unlawful detention of prisoners including men, women and children in jails for several years without any due process or trial. The court reaffirmed that holding people behind bars without trial for long period of time did not conform to the “reasonable, just or fair” requirement of article 21 of the constitution. The court discussed the fundamental right to speedy trial and the right to representation, specifically the right to free legal representation to the poor.

Nimeon Sangma & Ors. v. Home Secretary, Govt. of Meghalaya & ors., 1979 SCR (3) 785.

April 3, 1979.

Illegal detention and lack of expeditious trials.

Jolly George Verghese & anr. v. The Bank of Cochin, 1980 SCR (2) 913.

February 4, 1980.

Case deals with the international law norm of not imprisoning a person “merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.” Article 11 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The court held: “Superficially read [the law in question] implies that if at any time after the passing of an old decree the judgment-

debtor had come by some resources and had not discharged the decree he could be detained in prison even though at that later point of time he was found to be penniless. This is not a sound position, apart from being inhuman going by the standards of Article 11 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 21. A simple default to discharge is not enough. There must be some element of bad faith beyond mere indifference to pay, some deliberate or recusant disposition in the past or alternatively current means to pay the decree or a substantial part of it. The provision emphasizes the need to establish not mere omission to pay but an attitude of refusal on demand verging on dishonest disowning of the obligation under the decree.”

People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India, (1997) 3 S.C.C. 43.

Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, (1996) Supp. 5 S.C.R. 241.

A.P. Pollution Control Board v. Nayudu, 1999 S.O.L. No.53

Cases all dealing with the application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Holding that the human rights provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights can be the basis for a cause of action under the Constitution of India.

Sher Singh v. State of Punjab, A.I.R. 1983 S.C. 465

Holding that courts must take “delay” into account when imposing the death penalty.

Pai Found. v. Karnataka, (2002) 8 S.C.C. 481

The court explains the different roles protective discrimination laws and measures play in the history of the Indian democracy.

Chairman, Ry. Bd. v. Das, A.I.R. 2000 S.C. 988

Apparel Exp. Promotion Council v. Chopra, A.I.R. 1999 S.C. 625

Vishaka v. Rajasthan, A.I.R. 1997 S.C. 3011

In these cases the court has approached the issue of gender based violence by relying on the international legal norm of gender violence being an issue of equality, and that freedom of it is a fundamental right protected under the constitution. Specifically the court had tried to incorporate CEDAW into its analysis.

Gov’t of Andhra Pradesh v. Vijayakumar, A.I.R. 1995 S.C. 1648

The court upheld affirmative action for women in public employment.

Saran v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1980 S.C. 820

Holding: “that equality is not negated or neglected where special provisions are geared to the larger goal of the disabled getting over their disablement consistently with the general good and individual merit.”

Agarwal v. Uttar Pradesh, A.I.R. 1993 S.C. 1440.

Reddy v. Andhra Pradesh, (1993) 4 S.C.C. 439

Holding that reservation seats for women in municipal boards and boards of cooperative societies are protected under article 15(3) of the Indian Constitution.

Gupta v. Uttar Pradesh, (2005) 5 S.C.C. 172

Lakshmi v. Punjab Univ . , A.I.R. 2003 S.C. 3331

Union of India v. Prabhakaran, (1997) 11 S.C.C. 638

Pansari v. Orissa, A.I.R. 2000 S.C. 1531

Chandra v. Bihar, 1996 A.I.R. 88

Kavitha v. Tamil Nadu, 1992 A.I.R. 359

Cases all upholding the reservation of seats for women in public institutions.

Ara v. Uttar Pradesh, A.I.R. 2002 S.C. 3551

Singh v. Ramendri Smt., A.I.R. 2000 S.C. 952

Satpathy v. Dixit, A.I.R. 1999 S.C. 3348

Sesharathamma v. Manikyamma, (1991) 3 S.C.R. 717

Kaushal v. Kaushal, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1807.

Cases in which the court interpreted ambiguous laws in a manner that was protectionist towards women-such as labeling women as being destitute after divorce.

Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum A.I.R. 1985 S.C. 945

The case of Shah Bano is famous because the court determined that a Muslim woman who was divorced should be paid alimony. The case created a lot of controversy since Muslim religious leaders did not want the court to interpret religious concepts in the area of family without religious authority.

Lily Thomas v. Union of India, A.I.R. 2000 S.C. 1650

Smt. Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1995 S.C. 1531

Right of Hindu men to covert to Islam to avail of Muslim protectionist marriage laws, such as exercising polygamy.

Bijoe Emmanuel v. State of Kerala, A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 748

The Indian national anthem was to be given its due respect, but did not have to be sung by those who objected to it on religious ground.

Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1995 S.C. 605.

Acharya Jagdishwaranand Avadhuta v. Comm’r of Police, A.I.R. 1984 S.C. 51, P 17.
Cases where the court ruled on whether certain religious acts were an “essential practice” of the religion.

S.P. Gupta v. Union of India (1982), 69 A.I.R. 149

Holding: “Where a society has chosen to accept democracy as its creedal faith, it is elementary that its citizens ought to know what their government is doing. . . . No democratic government can survive without accountability and the basic postulate of accountability is that the people should have information about the functioning of the government. It is only if people know how government is functioning that they can fulfill the role that democracy assigns to them and make democracy an effective participatory democracy.” Recognizes that full right to information is part of right to freedom of speech.

Bal Patil v. Union of India, (2005) 6 S.C.C. 690

The court ruled that followers of the Jain religion would not be considered a religious minority, since the court merely sees the religion as a “reformist movement amongst Hindus.”

Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corp., AIR 1986 Supreme Ct. 18.

Protection of slum dwellers and pavement dwellers from eviction unless suitable accommodation is provided.

Masilamani Mudaliar v. Idol of Sri Swaminathaswami Swaminathaswami Thirukoli, (1996) 8 S.C.C. 525.

Holding that “personal laws conferring inferior status on women is anathema to equality.”

Zoroastrian Coop. Hous. Soc’y Ltd. v. Dist. Registrar Coop. Soc’y, (2005) 5 S.C.C. 632

A particular religious community could build an enclosed community residential colony restricted to only its own members.

State of West Bengal v. Ashutosh Lahiri, A.I.R 1995 S.C. 464

Hanif Qureshi v. State of Bihar, A.I.R. 1958 S.C. 731

Gujarat v. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat, (2005) 8 S.C.C. 534

Cases that disallowed the slaughtering of cows even for religious purposes and non Hindu religious holidays.

Krishna Singh v. Mathura Ahir, A.I.R. 1980 S.C. 707

In interpreting Hindu laws the court was to not use its own modern interpretation of norms, but the interpretation derived from authoritative Hindu sources.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India & Ors. (S.C. 2001)Writ Petition (Civil) No. 196/2001.

Held that governments have an obligation to ensure that people who cannot feed themselves adequately are not malnourished or exposed to starvation.

Union of India v. Ass’n for Democratic Reforms, 2 L.R.I. 305 (2002).

Mohinder Singh Gill v. The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi, 1 S.C.C. 405.

Cases in which the court held that the Election Commission had the obligation to provide free and fair elections.

Sheela Barse v. Union of India, 3 S.C.C. 632 (1986).

Kali Ram v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (1973) 2 S.C.C. 808.

Chatisgarh Mukti Morcha v. State of M. P . , (1996) 1996 Cr.L.J. 2239.
State of Punjab v. Baldev Singh (1999) 6 S.C.C. 172

Cases holding that the scope of right to life and liberty extends to the right of access to justice under article 21 of the constitution, and extending to the right to presumptive innocence, public trial and permissibility of evidence in trial.

Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, (1973) 4 SSC 225.

Right to life implies right to a basic “healthy life” as provided under the constitution.

Mehta v. State of Tamil Nadu (1996) Supp. 9 S.C.R. 726.

The case recognized the need to penalize violators of the child labor prohibition and regulation act of 1986, and fine violators payable towards the rehabilitation of child victim. The court also implored the national and state governments to work together to prevent child labor.

Unni Krishnan v. State of A.P . AIR 1997 SC 449.

Right to free and compulsory education for children and the protection of children from exploitation.

Visaka v. State of Rajastan, AIR 1997 SC 3014

Extended the right to not be sexually harassed and called for prevention of sexual harassment in work place.

Dhirendra Chamoli v. State of U.PI, 1986 1 SCC 637

The Supreme Court ruled the right to equal pay for equal work.

Paschim Bang Khet Mazdoor Samiti v. State of W.B. 1996 4 SCC 37

The Supreme Court extended the right to speedy medical assistance to workers.

Francis Coralie v. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597

The Supreme Court extended the right to basic necessities such as adequate nutrition, shelter, free movement, expressing oneself etc as part of fundamental rights.

Chameli Singh & Ors. v. State of U.P., (1996) 2 SCC 549.

The Court held that the right to shelter is a fundamental right available to every citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution.

PUDR v. Union of India A.I.R. 1982 S.C. 1437.

Right to minimum wage is part of fundamental rights protected under the Constitution.

Consumer Research Centre v. Union ofIndia 1995 3 SCC 42

The court required that com­pulsory health insurance be provided for every worker in order to implement the worker’s fundamental right to health.

Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. v. Employee’s State Insurance Corporation , (1996) 2 SCC 682.

The right to health is a fundamental right of worker, and should be provided for both state and private employers.

Pt. Parmahand Katara v. Union of India & others , AIR 1989 SC 2039.

A doctor at a government hospital has the duty under article 21 of the constitution to provide medical care regardless of whether the person is innocent or criminally liable under the penal codes.

State of Maharastra v. Manubhai Pragji Vashi, A.I.R. 1996 S.C. 1.

The court held that the state government, in concurrence with the concerned university, the Bar Council of India, and the State Bar Council and other competent bodies or persons, should take the necessary steps to ensure high standards to achieve excellence in legal education.

Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, (1992) 3 S.C.C. 212

Holding that laws and measures that compensate for past discrimination are a means of achieving equality.