top of page

Important Cases for Law optional UPSC Mains 2021

Important cases for Law optional Mains
Law Optional UPSC Mains 2021

Law optional Current Cases for UPSC Mains 2021

Note: These case can be cited in relevant answers to make it more current oriented. These however cannot be substituted with Landmark/classical cases for a particular topic. Most of them are sourced from Live law. You can click on judgments and read them in detail, but i will advise, just a brief in enough

Vinod Dua v. Union of India [ Helpful in Consti Law]

A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran while quashing the FIR against senior journalist Vinod Dua for sedition observed, "Every Journalist will be entitled to protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh , as every prosecution under Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC must be in strict conformity with the scope and ambit of said Sections as explained in, and completely in tune with the law laid down in Kedar Nath Singh." In the case of Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar(1962), the Supreme Court had read down Section 124A IPC and held that the application of the provision should be limited to "acts involving intention or tendency to create disorder, or disturbance of law and order; or incitement to violence".

The Supreme Court observed that a condition for payment of compensation to victims cannot be imposed at the stage of bail. In the instant case, the accused was granted bail by the High Court with a condition requiring them to deposit Rs.2.00 lakh each as compensation to the victims. The Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta observed, "we may hasten to add that we are not saying that no monetary condition can be imposed for grant of bail. We say so as there are cases of offences against property or otherwise but that cannot be a compensation to be deposited and disbursed as if that grant has to take place as a condition of the person being enlarged on bail."

Madras Bar Association v. Union of India [Tribunalisation of Justice topic in Consti law]

The Supreme Court by 2 :1 majority set aside the provisions in the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021 which fixed the term of members of various tribunals as four years. The majority comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat held that this term violated the express direction given in the earlier judgments in Rojer Mathew and Madras Bar Association cases that the term of tribunal members should be 5 years. Accordingly, the bench set aside those provisions. Justice Hemant Gupta dissented saying that a law cannot be struck down merely for the reason of being contrary to judgments.

Deepak Yadav &Ors v. UPSC &Ors; Vaidehi Gupta v. UPSC &Ors; [Can be cited as an example in question related to law and Covid pandemic in any topic]

In an extraordinary move, the Supreme Court has allowed five civil service candidates who cleared the UPSC civil service main examinations held this year, but were disqualified for submitting the degree certificates after the cut-off date, to appear for the interview. A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna passed this direction as a "special case" considering the fact that the candidates missed the last date as their universities declared their results late due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Union of India v. Rajendra Shah and others [Legislative Domain and all constitutional interpretation doctrine Topic]

The Supreme Court struck down the provisions of the Constitution(97th Amendment) Act 2011 to the extent it introduced Part IX B in the Constitution to deal with co-operative societies. A 3-judge bench comprising Justices Rohinton Nariman, KM Joseph and BR Gavai dismissed the appeals filed by the Union of India against the judgment of the Gujarat High Court. The bench unanimously held that the 97th Constitutional Amendment required ratification by at least one-half of the state legislatures as per Article 368(2) of the Constitution, since it dealt with a entry which was an exclusive state subject (co-operative societies). And Fundamental Right To Form Cooperative Societies', 'Article 43B'

State of Kerala v. K.Ajith [ Legislative Privileges topic in Consti law]

While refusing to allow the withdrawal of criminal prosecution against six LDF members in the Kerala assembly ruckus case of 2015, the Supreme Court made certain significant observations on the scope of legislative privileges and immunities. The State of Kerala and the accused persons had raised an argument that the criminal prosecution was not sustainable against the members for acts committed in the floor of the assembly as they are protected by legislative privileges under Article 194 of the Constitution. Rejecting this argument, a Division bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that legislative privileges cannot be claimed to seek exemption from the application of criminal law.

State of Haryana v. Rajkumar @ Bittu [ Pardoning power of governer]

The Supreme Court has observed that the power of Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution to commute sentence or to pardon will override the restrictions imposed under Section 433-A of the Criminal Procedure Code. Even if the prisoner has not undergone 14 years or more of actual imprisonment, the Governor has a power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person, the bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and AS Bopanna observed.

The top court held that that Emergency Award passed by Singapore arbitrator stalling FRL-Reliance deal is enforceable in Indian law. "It is wholly incorrect to say that Section 17(1) of the Act would exclude an Emergency Arbitrator's orders", the Court said in the judgment. A Bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai opined, "We declare that full party autonomy is given by the Arbitration Act to have a dispute decided in accordance with institutional rules which can include Emergency Arbitrators delivering interim orders, described as "awards". Such orders are an important step in aid of decongesting the civil courts and affording expeditious interim relief to the parties. Such orders are referable to and are made under Section 17(1) of the Arbitration Act."

Prabhat Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar [Consumer protection Act topic in laws of contract]

The Supreme Court has observed that mens rea as intent is not required in a case of medical negligence. The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna observed that before summoning the accused in a criminal medical negligence complaint, the complainant has to lead medical evidence or examine a professional Doctor by the complainant in support of his case made out in the complaint.

With the objective of decriminalization of politics, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the political parties must publish the criminal antecedents, in any, of the candidates within 48 hours of their selection. A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai modified the direction in its February 13, 2020 judgment in that regard. The court has also directed the Election Commission of India to create a dedicated mobile application containing information published by candidates regarding their criminal antecedents, so that at one stroke, each voter gets such information on his/her mobile phon

The Supreme Court has observed that the gravity of complaint under Negotiable Instruments Act cannot be equated with an offence under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or other criminal offence. The court reiterated that that the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act would remain, until the contrary is proved. Whether there is rebuttal or not would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case, the bench of CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna said.

The Supreme Court declared that the National Green Tribunal is vested with suo motu powers to take cognizance on the basis of letters, representations and media reports.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar delivered the judgment on a batch of petitions which raised the issue whether NGT has suo motu jurisdiction (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai v. Ankita Sinha and other and connected cases).

The Court held that the NGT must be seen as a sui generis institution as the National Green Tribunals Act, 2010 (NGT Act) provides the Tribunal with wide ranging powers beyond that of a mere adjudicatory body.

Opining on the intention behind the legislature in establishing such a tribunal, the Court held,

"NGT Act, when read as a whole, gives much leeway to the NGT to go beyond a mere adjudicatory role. The Parliament's intention is clearly discernible to create a multifunctional body, with the capacity to provide redressal for environmental exigencies.

Accordingly, the principles of environmental justice and environmental equity must be explicitly acknowledged as pivotal threads of the NGT's fabric. The NGT must be seen as a sui generis institution and not unus multorum, and its special and exclusive role to foster public interest in the area of environmental domain delineated in the enactment of 2010 must necessarily receive legal recognition of this Court"

The Court also acknowledged that environmental impact on climate change is gaining increasing visibility in recent times and thus the NGT must be given the discretion to exercise suo moto powers in order to salvage adverse environmental consequences for generations to come.

Nandlal Lohariya v. Jagdish Chand Purohit [ Consumer protection act]

The Supreme Court has observed that an advocate losing a case cannot be said to be deficiency in service on his/her part. "In every litigation, either of the party is bound to lose and in such a situation either of the party who will lose in the litigation may approach the consumer fora for compensation alleging deficiency in service, which is not permissible at all", the bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed while dismissing a Special Leave Petition filed against the order passed by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

RAJENDRA KHARE vs SWAATI NIRKHI [ Philosophy behind review jurisdiction]

The basic philosophy inherent in granting the power to the Supreme Court to review its judgment under Article 137 is the universal acceptance of human fallibility, the Supreme Court observed in an order allowing a Review Petition.

The court observed:

"The rectification of an order emanates from the fundamental principles that justice is above all. In the Constitution, substantive power to rectify or review the order by the Supreme Court has been specifically provided under Article 137 as noted above. The basic philosophy inherent in granting the power to the Supreme Court to review its judgment under Article 137 is the universal acceptance of human fallibility."

In an important judgment delivered today, the Supreme Court has held that non-governmental organisations [NGO] substantially financed, whether directly or indirectly, by the appropriate government fall within the ambit of 'public authority' under Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose held so, while considering appeals filed by colleges or associations running the colleges and/or schools.


2,247 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page