Some of the judgments of 2018 have been unanimously hailed. While some verdicts have been welcomed, others have been criticised. Many consider that if anything, it is a clear sign that the court has not played favorites.
Justice Dipak Misra passed various judgments on important cases in 2018, ranging from the one on the entry of women into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple to the constitutionality of Aadhaar.
Sabarimala: The Supreme Court on September 28 passed a judgment allowing the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. Women of all ages should be allowed in Kerala's renowned Sabarimala temple, the Supreme Court ordered, ending the age-old ban. A five-judge constitution bench directed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on August 1 reserved its verdict after hearing the matter for eight days.
Section 377: In a landmark judgement, a five bench of the Supreme Court on September 6 struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and decriminalised homosexuality. Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. The bench termed the part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises unnatural sex as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.
Adultery: The Supreme Court on September 27 said that adultery is not a crime even though, "without a shadow of a doubt," it can be a ground for divorce. The verdict scraps the 158-year law that punished a man for an affair but not the woman, treating her as 'property.' "A man having sexual intercourse with a married woman is not a crime," said Chief Justice Dipak Misra, calling the Victorian adultery law arbitrary.
Supreme Court proceedings to be live streamed: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” - stated a bench led by CJI Dipak Misra on September 26, delivering a verdict allowing live streaming of court proceedings. The Supreme Court will live stream cases of national and constitutional importance for all citizens. The move is seen as a step towards transparency, and increasing accountability of lawyers and judges.
Private companies can’t demand Aadhaar verification: Supreme Court bench upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, striking down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed the sharing of citizen data with private entities. The Aadhaar is mandatory only to file IT returns and for PAN allotment, and is voluntary for bank accounts, e-wallets, and school admissions.
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Last Updated Dec 31, 2018, 7:03 PM IST