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CONSTITUTION CASES

Facts Involved

The Government decided to disinvest its share in a profit


making Government Company. It was challenged by an
NGO on the ground that the said decision is against the
policy of socialism enshrined in the preamble to the
Constitution of India. Decide

Issue/Charge

The NGO has challenged the validity of the disinvestment


decision of the Government in a Government Company, as
it is against the policy of socialism enshrined in the
Constitution.

Topic
to

Does the disinvestment falls within the purview of


Economic Policy of the State and if so whether the same
Relevant can be subjected to Judicial review.
Whether Socialism
Concept is affected.

Provision
Law

Preamble of the Constitution speaks of the Socialism


concept, which in itself means some form of ownership of
of the production and distribution of the State.
Secondly, whether the Supreme Court has the powers of
Judicial Review of Economic Policy, in case the
disinvestment falls under the same.

Principle

Application

Decision

Reason

The Company mentioned here under is a Government


Company, the Socialism concept says that the ownership
of production and distribution by the State.
However,
Article 14 it is inferred that the policy decision of the
government in the case of disinvestment, the court cannot
interfere unless such policy is contrary to the Act or
Constitution.
In the given case as the NGO has not specified under what
circumstances the Socialism concept has been breached
by the Disinvestment policy of the Government.
As the
petitioners have not spelt out the conditions under which
the disinvestment decision of the government company
was in arbitrary or illegal.
Under such circumstances
the courts cannot interfere with the decisions of the
government.
The decision of the government to disinvestment in the
Government company is not invalid.
The government can take a decision which it deems fit in
the interes and welfare of the State and in such
circumstances the courts cannot question every act of the
State unless it is proved otherwise.
Art 31(c): No law containing a declaration that it is for
giving effect to such policy shall be called in question in
any court on the ground that it does not give effect to such
policy.

No violation under Art 14

BALCO Employees Union Vs Union of India


Case
Law/Precedent

AIR 2002 SC 350

CONSTITUTION CASES
Facts Involved

Issue/Charge

Topic
to

Relevant

Provision
Law

Principle

Application

Some women petitioners challenged the validity of the


service regulation under which they had to retire if they
get married within four years of service or on first
pregnancy. The petitioner contended that the regulation is
discriminatory and violative of Arts 14, 15 and 16 of
Constitution. Decide.
Conditions of service-Discrimination-Determination of
question.
Retirement of Air Hostesses in the event of marriage
taking place
within four years of service-Whether
within four years or on first pregnancy is unreasonable or
arbitrary.
Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India,
Which speaks of equality and non discrimation.

Art 14- Equality before law.-General


Art 15-Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion,
of race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Art 16-Equality of opportunities in matters of public
employment.
The right to equality before law and against discrimination
and equality of opportunities in matters of public
employment as enshrined in Constitution of India. Does
not fall under Doctrine Of Reasonable Classification under
Art. 14.
By applying the above principle of equality and non
discrimination policy of the Constitution of India, it can be
inferred that the grounds as stated in the facts of the case
cannot construed as a valid ground for retiring the women
employees by the organisation is ultra vires of the
Constitution.

In the circumstances mentioned above it is a clear violation


of Art.14, 15 and 16 in as much as the terms of
employment are violative of the said Articles enshrined
under the Constitution.
Hence the decision of the
Company is not valid.

Decision

The ground of sex or disabilities arising from sex and,


therefore, the regulations amount to a clear infraction of
the
provisions of Art. 15(1) and Art.
16(4).
The
termination of the services of AHs on the ground of
pregnancy or marriage
within
four
years
is
manifestly
unreasonable wholly arbitrary and violative of Art. 14.

Reason

Case
Law/Precedent

Air India Vs Nargesh Meerja


AIR 1981 SCC 1829

CONSTITUTION CASES
Facts Involved

Issue/Charge

Topic
to

A public limited company running two cinema theatres


situated within the Poona Cantonment Area were issued
order for payment of entertainment levy which is higher
when compared levied on the other cinema houses.
The Company preferred appeal on the increased levy,
which is high when compared to other cinema houses.

Disparity in the Act made by the State Govt. and violative


of the Article 14 of the Constitution, on the grounds of
Relevant discrimination.

Provision
Law

Article 14 : State shall not deny to any person equality


before the law or the equal protection of the laws within
of the territory of India.
Action of State creating class within class violates Article
14

Principle

Doctrine of Reasonable Classification: Legislation which


give a wide power to the executive to select cases for
special treatment, without indicating the policy, may be set
aside as violative of equality. On one hand provisions which
lay down policy are likely to be upheld, but on the other
hand, provisions which give such guidance are likely to be
invalidated.

Application

Decision

Reason

Case Law

It may not be unreasonable or improper if a higher tax is


imposed on the shows given by a cinema house which
contains large seating accommodation and is situate in
fashionable or busy localities where the number of visitors
is more numerous and in more affluent circumstances than
the tax that may be imposed on shows given in a smaller
cinema house containing less accommodation and situate
in some localities where the visitors are less numerous or
financially in less affluent circumstances, for the two
cannot, in those circumstances, be said to be similarly
situate.
In the given circumstances the enhancement
entertainment tax as levied by the State is Valid.

of

Article 14 of the Constitution forbids class legislation, it


does not forbid reasonable classification for the purposes
of legislation. The classification may be founded on
different bases; namely geographical, or according to
objects or occupations or
the like. What is necessary
is that there must be nexus between the basis of
classification and the object of the Act
under
consideration.
Western India Theatre Vs Cantonment Board

CONSTITUTION CASES
Facts Involved

Issue/Charge

Topic
to

Relevant

The system for levy of tax on the basis of number of persons


admitted to each show is dispensed with and tax was levied on The
rates were fixed on the basis of a percentage of the gross
collection capacity per show varying with the category of the
local area in which the theatre was situated as well as on the
nature of the theatre, viz. air conditioned air cooled or (other
than air
conditioned
and
air-cooled)or permanent, semipermanent including touring and temporary theatres.
the rule was hit by Article 14: of the Constitution, as it gave
rise to discrimination amongst different theatres situate within the
same local area.
Disparity in the Act made by the State Govt. and violative of the
Article 14 of the Constitution, on the grounds of discrimination.

Art. 14 : State shall not deny to any person equality before the law
or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Provision
Law

of

Principle

Doctrine of Reasonable Classification.


Article 14 : State
shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal
protection of the laws within the territory of India. The challenge
to the impugned provisions on the basis of Article 14 is grounded
on the principle that discrimination would result if unequals are
treated equally
Action of State creating class within class violates Article 14

Application

Decision

Reason

Case
Law/Precedent

In relation to cinema theatres it can be said that the attendance in


the various cinema theatres within a local area would not be
uniform and would depend on factors which may very from time to
time. But this does not mean that cinema theatres in a particular
category of local area will always be at a disadvantage so as to be
prejudicely affected by a uniform rate as compared to cinema
theatres having a better location in the local area.
It is, therefore, not possible to accept the contention that the
impugned provisions are violative of right to equality guaranteed
under Article 14 of the Constitution on the basis that unequals are
being treated equally.
In the instant case, it is observed that the legislature has
prescribed different rates of tax by classifying theatres into
different classes, namely, air-conditioned, air-cooled, ordinary
(other than air-conditioned and air-cooled), permanent and semi
permanent and touring and temporary. The theatres have further
been categorized on the basis of the type of the local area in which
they are situate. It cannot, therefore, be said that there has been
no attempt on the part of the legislature to classify the cinema
theatres
taking
into
consideration
the
differentiating
circum-stances for the purpose of imposition of tax. The grievance
of the appellants is that the classification is not perfect. What they
want is that there should have been further classification amongst
the theatres falling in the same class on the basis of the location of
the theatre is each local area. It cannot be said that such a
contention is well founded.
Venkteswara Theatre Vs State of Andhra Pradesh
Western India Theatre Vs Cantonment Board

CONSTITUTION CASES
Facts Involved

Issue/Charge

Topic
to

In the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu which result in


imposition of Sales Tax on cooked food sold only in luxury
hotels while exempting the same from sales tax in modest
eating houses was challenged by some hoteliers in both
States.
This amounted to hostile discrimination and therefore
violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Disparity in the Act made by the State Govt. and violative


of the Article 14 of the Constitution, on the grounds of
Relevant discrimination.

Provision
Law

Principle

Art. 14 : State shall not deny to any person equality before


the law or the equal protection of the laws within the
of territory of India.
Doctrine of Reasonable Classification.
Article 14 :
State shall not deny to any person equality before the law
or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of
India. The challenge to the impugned provisions on the
basis of Article 14 is grounded on the principle that

discrimination would result if un equals are treated equally.


Action of State creating class within class violates Article
14

Application

Decision

Reason

Case
Law/Precedent

It is well-settled that in order to tax something it is not


necessary to tax everything.
So long as those within
the tax net can be legitimately classified together
indicating an intelligible differentia vis-a-vis those left out
and the classification so made bears a rational nexus with
the object sought to be achieved, the classification is
clearly permissible and it does not violate Article 14 of the
Constitution.
This discussion clearly shows that the attack to the
constitutional validity of the impugned provisions in both
States has no merit since the classification made is neither
discriminatory nor arbitrary. There is no hesitation in
rejecting the challenge on the aforesaid grounds on the
material produced.
It is impossible in the nature of things to aim at absolute
equality in the matter of taxation. The State resorts to the
principle of classification in an attempt to harmonise the
doctrine of equality with differences inherent in the
categories of properties or persons assessed. In the
present case, the object to provide for the levy of a general
tax and to apportion the burden equitably between
different categories of persons has a reasonable nexus with
the classification adopted by the legislature.
Kerala Hotel & Restaurant Association Vs State of Kerala

CONSTITUTION CASES
Facts Involved

Issue/Charge

Topic
to

A, a civil servant was relieved compulsorily in public interest


without holding any enquiry. The order of compulsory retirement
was challenged in a court of law. Decide

Can the compulsory retirement though in public interest, is


arbitrary.

Rules of natural justice, without sufficient scope to the


official to be heard a decision taken affects the basic
Relevant fundamental rule of natural justice.

Provision
Law

Art: 14 : Ignoring the audi alterm partem rule (i.e., hear the
parties)
of Art. 21: Right to livelihood

Application

The right to life enshrined under Art 21 includes right to


livelihood and therefore before terminating the services of
an employee or workman fair play requires that a
reasonable opportunity should be given to him to explain
his case. The procedures prescribed for depriving a
person of livelihood must meet the requirement of Art 14,
that is, it must be right, just and fair and not arbitrary,
fanciful or oppressive.
In the given case the official was not heard before relieving
him on compulsory retirement, even though it is argued
that it is in the interest of the public.

Decision

Going by the facts and the principle as laid down under Art
14 & 21 the
compulsory retirement of the official is not valid.

Principle

Reason

Case
Law/Precedent

Right to life enshrined under Art 21 includes the right to


livelihood and therefore termination of the services of an
Official without giving him reasonable opportunity of
hearing is unjust, arbitrary and illegal.
Since the act
violates both Art.14 & 21, the decision of the Govt. To
compulsory retirement is not valid.
D.K.Yadav Vs J.M.A. Industries

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