Important Supreme Court Judgements UPSC: Landmark Judgements and Cases

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Important Supreme Court Judgements UPSC are crucial to be studied by every aspirant preparing for the upcoming CSE exam. The Supreme Court is the ultimate decision maker or the interpreter of the Constitution and has protected our fundamental rights and freedom through its creative and innovative interpretation. Some of the landmark judgements of Supreme Court of India are in cases such as the AK Gopalan case, Berubari union case, Shankari Prasad case, etc.

Indian Constitution is an important part of the UPSC Syllabus, which makes the Supreme Court of India Judgements a vital topic for the UPSC exam. UPSC aspirants must gather adequate information on this particular topic for preparation by downloading the Supreme Court Judgement PDF from the link provided below.

Important Supreme Court Judgements

Landmark judgements of the Supreme Court of India set a precedent in law, terminate an essential new legal principle or judicial concept, or affect the interpretation of the existing law substantially.

Supreme court Judgement PDF

  • A landmark decision is a decision that changes the interpretation of the existing law and sets a new legal principle, which becomes the landmark judgement.
  • The SC is the highest judicial court in India, the final court of appeal under the Indian Constitution, and the highest constitutional court with the power of judicial review. One can review the binding decisions of the SC with the help of a review petition. The Supreme Court judgements do not usually unsettle a decision in the absence of a strong case considering the principle of stare decisis.
  • The SC has to work based on laws made by the Parliament. However, the SC can declare a law invalid framed by the Parliament if the law violates the Constitution. The Parliament can also amend the Constitution subject to the basic structure doctrine.

Role of Constitution in Supreme Court of India Judgements

The Constitution of India was enacted in 1950. Since when the constitution was formed, it has gone through a lot of amendments. The landmark judgements of Supreme Court of India are taken within the constitutional framework; its decisions are based on the law of the constitution. The Supreme court is the protector of our constitutional rights and fundamental freedom. The Supreme court judgements are based on the constitutional decision laid on all levels of the court in India.

Landmark Judgements of Supreme Court of India

Below we have mentioned some of the important and landmark Supreme Court of India Judgements.

AK Gopalan Case 1950:

One of the most important supreme court judgements made in history was that parliament could not make any amendment to the constitution, which was earlier permitted to the parliament. As per articles 13, 19, 21, and 22 under the prevention act, the Parliament was allowed to make some amendments to the constitution, but this is not possible now, after the supreme court judgement on the AK Gopalan case.

Berubari Union Case:

The Berubari Case judgement of Supreme Court was regarding the power of Parliament to transfer the Berubari region to Pakistan. Article 3 was examined by the Apex Court to decide that under this article, Parliament cannot make laws.

Shankari Prasad Case:

Supreme Court Judgement under this case shows that according to article 368 in part 111 of the constitution, parliament has the power to amend the constitution.

Champakam Dorairajan State of Madras:

Judgement for this case by the supreme court fixed the number of seats in medical and engineering colleges for extraordinary communities. It means deprived communities can get a chance to get seats in top colleges and universities.

Golaknath Case:

The Supreme Court Judgement, in this case, made it clear that parliaments do not have any power to make amends to cons the constituent assembly can make the situation Amendment in the constitution according to article 368.

Madhav Jiwaji Rao Scandia , Union of India:

Judgement, in this case, abolished all the privileges and titles given to the princely ruler. Even the privy purse was also abolished, which was promised by the president to convince the ruler to merge with India after independence. This landmark judgement of the Supreme Court overrides the president’s decision.

Kesavananda Bharati case:

This case judgement shows that the supreme court clarified that changing the constitution is beyond the parliament’s power. Therefore, Parliament has no power to make amendments to the constitution or any other fundamental right.

Maneka Gandhi Case:

This case puts the question of whether going abroad is part of personal liberty under article 21. Supreme court judgement under this case is that going abroad under the individual liberty article is fair, reasonable, and just.

Minerva Mills Case:

This case made the two amendments unconstitutional. Sections 4 and 55 under amendments give limitless power to the parliament to amend the constitution. This case made clear that the constitution is supreme power over the parliament.

Shah Bano Case:

It is one of the most significant Supreme Court of India judgements to protect Muslim women’s rights. They announced that under the protection divorce act 1986, Muslim women have the right to take alimony from their former husbands to support their livelihood after the separation or divorce.

MC Mehta and Union of India:

This case dealt with three issues: the scope of article 32, the rule of absolute liability, and the issue of compensation. Supreme Court Judgement, in this case, points out that the supreme court has the absolute right to take remedial measures to protect the individual’s rights. The judgement also makes it clear that if any industry is indulging in a harmful practice, it will have to accept its liability. Its compensation will also be according to the magnitude of the industry.

Indira Sawhney Case:

In this case, the supreme court wants the creamy layer of OBC excluded from the reservation. Reservation should only be given while entering the job, not for promotion. According to this landmark judgement, reservations should not exceed 50%.

SR Bommai Case:

This Supreme Court judgement of the SR Bommai vs Union of India case overrides the power of the President to control the state. In this case, the President misuses the presidential power to control the state.

Vishaka state of Rajasthan:

This landmark judgement of Supreme Court of India dealt with sexual harassment in the workplace. The Supreme Court of India has issued some guidelines to be followed by all the employees in the company to prevent sexual harassment. If any person does not follow the guidelines, then he or she will be entitled to punishment.

Triple Talaq:

This is one of the landmark judgements by the supreme court in which they abolish triple talaq practices. Under this practice, a Muslim man can take talaq by just uttering the word TALAQ’ three times. In addition, this judgement ordered Muslim men to pay alimony to their wives after separation.

Repealing Section 377:

This is one of the landmark judgements of Supreme Court of India, which made section 377 unconstitutional, which criminalizes consensual sex between adults of the same sex.

Putt Swamy case:

This judgement will protect the right of the individual whose personal rights are violated.

Important Cases in Supreme Court of India

We have discussed some of the important cases in the history of Supreme Court of India judgements below.

Kesavananda Bharati case:

  • When the constitution was created, it gave the parliament power to amend it. Therefore, Parliament can make necessary changes in the constitution if required.
  • But in this supreme court judgement, the court made it clear that the parliament does not have any power to amend the constitution in any situation.
  • During the Indira Gandhi government, articles 24, 25, 26, and 29 were amended. These amendments give power to parliament to amend the constitution and fundamental rights.
  • This power of parliament was challenged in the Kesavanandaqq Bharati case, in which the court judged that parliament had no authority to amend the constitution.

Maneka Gandhi case:

  • Under this case, the supreme court gives judgement that the court does not have any power to question any law unless it violates a person’s right to life and liberty.
  • This supreme court judgement makes clear that the court is a watchdog of the constitution rather than the protector of the constitution.
  • Judgement mentions that the procedure established by law under article 11 would have the same effect as the expression of due process of the law.
  • This states that no person can be deprived of his right to life or liberty. Therefore, every person has the right to life and liberty.

Shah Bano case:

  • This case gave Muslim women the right to claim rights in court, which was not possible before.
  • Supreme Court of India Judgement, in this case, makes the Muslim woman entitled to take alimony from her former husband after the separation or divorce to support their livelihood after the separation.
  • On the one hand, this case strengthens women’s situation. But on the other hand, it faces massive criticism from Muslim society for interference in Muslim personal law in the supreme court.

Indira Sawhney case:

  • In this case, the supreme court says that the creamy layer of the OBC should be removed from a reservation in the job,
  • Reservation should be given while entering the job, not for promotion.
  • The Supreme court has amended article 16(a), in which they had the power to make necessary changes in the reservation law if the backward class does not get appropriate representation in society.
  • The Supreme court judgement made it clear that reservations should not exceed 50 % in any case.

Vishaka case:

  • This case was in the context of sexual harassment in the workplace. This was the first time when authorities defined sexual harassment cases in India.
  • Earlier Supreme Court relied on international treaties that have not been transformed into municipal law to deal with such cases.
  • The Supreme court defined sexual harassment for the first time; earlier, there was no law to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Under this case, the supreme court laid some guidelines to be strictly followed by every employee in the company.


All these important cases in the supreme court of India show that, over time, there are some landmark judgements of supreme court of India to protect individual rights. According to the constitutional guidelines, the apex court is responsible for protecting the individual’s rights. The Supreme court not only protects the individual’s rights but also makes amendments to the law to give people justice. These cases clearly show that the court is where any person can expect and seek justice.

Important Supreme court Judgements UPSC

Supreme Court of India Judgements finds their relevance in the UPSC Syllabus. And it is a significant topic for Prelims, Mains, and also for the interview round. UPSC aspirants need to focus on all the information and facts related to the Supreme Court of India Judgements as per the syllabus and keep an eye on Current Affairs for excellent preparation.

Supreme court of India judgements UPSC Question

Question: Examine the scope of fundamental rights in the light of the K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India judgement. (250 words) [UPSC Mains]

How to prepare Supreme Court Judgements for UPSC Exam?

Important Supreme Court Judgements UPSC are important to prepare for the Civil Services exam as questions on this topic are usually asked in the Prelims and Mains exams. It forms an essential part of the Indian Polity and current affairs section. Aspirants preparing for the upcoming UPSC exam can refer to the following resources to prepare landmark judgements of supreme court of India:

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