Part I: The First 75 Years of Independence (1947-1972)

India celebrates 75 years of its independence in many ways. The tricolor of our national flag became the center of attention. India is now experiencing a new era of festivals. This blog is an attempt to understand 75 years of Indian independence and the evolution of law through each year. The first 25 of 75 years of Indian Independence were critical for the making or breaking of territory, leadership, rules of India, etc. In the blog below, we shed some light on the first of 75 glorious years. Discover the key episodes that occurred in the Indian legal systems after independence.

The Evolution of Indian Law After Independence 1947-1972

1947 was the year we Indians finally got our long-sought freedom. The ‘Indian Independence Act 1947’, a codified law, laid the foundation for India’s freedom from British rule. The United Kingdom’s Parliament passed the Act, but it divided British India into two independent nations, i.e., India and Pakistan.

1948: The Factories Act of 2018 and the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, which ensured the rights of employees, laid a foundation in the corporate world.

The Constitution of India was implemented on November 26, 1949, making this year another important one. This is why Indian Constitution Day is celebrated every year.

In 1950, we celebrated the first Republic Day on January 26th and got a new set of rights. In the same year, the right to freedom of speech was threatened by a government order that prohibited entry and distribution of weekly publications in certain areas of Madras. Romesh Thappar [1], the apex Court, upheld freedom of the press by explaining that freedom of expression and speech includes freedom of propagation.

1951: The Representation Act of 1951 was passed, which laid down the fundamental rules for today’s elections and constituencies. In the Supreme Court’s ruling in Narasu Appa Mali [2], the rift between fundamental rights and personal laws was resolved. The law against bigamy for Hindus and other religions is declared valid.

1952: The Presidential Elections Act of 1952 laid down the details for how the President and Vice-President (the constitutional chairs) must be elected.

1953: The year 1953 was significant in the 75 years of Indian independence. A classic case [3] established the rule that an inquiry of a public servant does not constitute prosecution. Therefore, any further criminal proceedings do not fall under Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India. On the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, it is important to recall an American law that was passed in order to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American culture.

The Special Marriage Act of 1954 was a significant step in the evolution of Indian marriage laws. It has been a cornerstone for inter-religious marriages and marriages between castes. The Shirur Mutt case [4] was also significant, as it established the standard for essential religious practices that the Karnataka High Court used in its hijab judgment.

The law governing marriages between Hindus was passed in 1955. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 came into force, which attracted much controversy from the community. In the same year, the Citizenship Act came into force. It played an important role in defining Indian citizenship during the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Companies Act 1956 was introduced in 1956, a year that saw a revolution in the corporate sector. Companies Act 2013 has replaced the 1956 Hindu Succession Act.

The Copyright Act of 1957 has played an important role in protecting the rights and literary works of artists during the 75 years of glorious independence. In the same year, in the case of Ramjilal Modi [5], it was argued that I.P.C. Section 295A [6] violated freedom of expression as per Article 19(1)(a). This was rejected, and 295A’s provision was deemed important to maintain public order.

1958: In the case of R. K. Dalmia [7], reasonable classification for equality was upheld under Article 14. The court judgment in this case also clarified the Indian Constitution’s concept of equality.

The Arms Act of 1959 introduced rules and regulations relating to weapons and ammunition.

The law is a result of the Nehru Noon agreement. The law was also influenced by judicial cases such as Shamlal [8] and the classic Berubari Union Case, 1960 S.C.C. The Supreme Court ruled that Parliament did not have the right to grant any territory to another nation. However, this can be achieved by amending Article 368 of the Indian Constitution and, ultimately, Article 1 of the Indian Constitution.

1961 saw the end of the jury system for Indian courts with the case involving a naval officer [9], which was based on the Bollywood film Rustom. The media helped to justify the murders in a legal sense and at a societal level. The Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 was passed in the same year to give legal recognition to motherhood. Income Tax Act 1961 was passed in 1961 to help the country earn more money.

1962 was a crucial year for the establishment of the sedition laws and their validity in the case of Kedar Nath [10]. This year, the Customs Act of 1962, which regulates the import and export of goods for India’s 75 years of independence, came into force.

This year was a pivotal one in India’s 75-year history of independence and the evolution of its law. It is because of some important statutes. This includes the Limitation Act, which sets a time limit for bringing a lawsuit and other procedural restrictions; the Specific Relief Act, which provides a remedy to people who seek specific remedial actions; and the Official Languages Act, which clarifies how many languages are officially recognized.

1964: Kharak Sing [11] was a case law that is well-known for its law students. It ended the debate about the right to privacy being a fundamental right.

1965: In the Sajjan Singh Case, Article 368 of the Constitution of India was upheld by the court. [12]. The Payment of Bonus Act of 1965 was another major achievement of Indian law after independence. It recognized work done after hours by overtime rules.

The Punjab Reorganisation Act of 1966 led to the formation of Haryana in 1966.

The Supreme Court, in Golaknath v. [13], stated that the Constitution cannot be amended to make fundamental rights equal with any other law.

Border Security Forces Act 1968 was a result of 75 years of independence and the evolution of law. It regulated the Constitution and regulations of the armed forces in the Union.

Madras was renamed by the Indian law in 1969 to Tamil Nadu, the state it is today.

1970: Just as the average citizen signs contracts every day, so too do unions and central governments. In the case of Maula Bux [14], the Union failed in court to prove that the loss was actually suffered.

This year, the U.N.R. brought to light a struggle between the executive and legislative branches. Rao case [15], whereby the court clarified India’s lack of a presidential form of government. The Prime Minister and Council of Ministers must be present for the President of India to function. In 1971, the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act was introduced. This Act has now been incorporated into the Flag Code of India in relation to the Indian Flag. National honor revolves around three things: the Indian Constitution, the national anthem, and the national flag.

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