2018, without any doubt, will be the most important year in the history of the Indian judiciary. While several judgments of India Judiciary put an end to obsolete practices in India, others have created a way for new beginnings. Here are some of the judgments passed by the Indian Judiciary that made a great impact on us:
1.When the Supreme Court decriminalized section 37
6th Septemeber 2018 was a historic date in India as Supreme Court scrapped section 377 that criminalised consensual gay sex. The court said that the law denied basic fundamental rights and was unconstitutional. Section 377 dates back to the British era of criminalizing sexual activities that are against the order of nature, including same-sex intercourse.
2. When the Supreme Court declared that adultery is no longer a criminal offence
A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court unanimously scrapped section 497 of IPC which deals with adultery. According to the law, a married man can be punished if he has sex with the wife of another married man, without his ‘connivance’ or ‘consent’.
3. When the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Aadhaar
Supreme Court on 26 September 2018, finally delivered its verdict on Aadhaar . The court ruled that Aadhaar does not infringe on an individual’s right to privacy and upheld its constitutional validity. They, however, made it clear that no person can be denied any benefits for not having Aadhaar. Ever since the verdict, Aadhaar has no longer been compulsory for opening bank accounts and for taking admission in schools. Although the court made it mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN card, the same is not required for your mobile numbers.
4. When the Supreme Court delivered the Ramjanmbhoomi Babri Masjid verdict
Supreme Court declined to refer the 1994 Ismail Faruqui verdict to a large bench and categorically stated that namaz can be offered anywhere and a mosque isn’t necessary for it. Thus, the government could acquire the land on which the mosque was built on.
5. When the Supreme Court permitted passive euthanasia
In March 2018, a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra gave legal sanction to passive euthanasia. It permitted ‘living will’ by patients on withdrawing medical support if they slip into irreversible coma. The SC also held that the right to die with dignity is a fundamental right.
6. When the Supreme Court permitted live streaming of court hearings
Supreme Court took a huge step towards increasing the accountability and transparency in judicial functioning with its decision to bring courtroom proceedings under the public eye. With this ruling, the apex court has paved the way for people to watch the courtroom drama just as its taking place.
7. When the Supreme Court allowed the entry of women into the Sabrimala temple
Putting an end to a centuries-old tradition, the Supreme Court ruled that women, irrespective of their age, can enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the temple due to ‘impurity’.
8. When the Supreme Court asked Parliament to formulate a law for decriminalisation of politics
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court said that the Parliament must make a certain law to prevent persons with criminal backgrounds from entering the legislature. They even said that the candidates and political parties should widely publicise criminal charges and their parties should post the details on their websites so the voter can make an informed choice.