It’s almost the end of the year and it is time to bid adieu to 2018. The year has been quite an eventful one, jam-packed with action, movements, protests, debates, elections and many more. “Rewinding 2018” is a humble effort of HW News to throw light on all such incidents that made headlines in every sphere of life in 2018.
Here are the five landmark judgments that defined progressive India in 2018:
Repealing Section 377 and decriminalising homosexuality:
In a landmark judgement passed on September 6 by the Supreme Court, it struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and other four judges decriminalised homosexuality and gay sex in consenting adults. The CJI in his judgement stated that Section 377 is ‘irrational’, ‘arbitrary’, and ‘incomprehensible’ as it shackles the right to equality for the people belonging to the LGBTQ community.
It was in July 2013, in the round of earlier litigation, the top court reserved the ruling of the Delhi High Court decriminalizing homosexuality or same-sex relationship. On 17 July, the top court stated that it was duty bound to strike the law down that clashes with fundamental rights and the majoritarian government should not be left to address it.
Almost 150 years after its inception, the Supreme Court of India finally struck down the archaic Section 497 of Indian Penal Code, popularly known as the “Adultery Law”. In the historic judgment, the five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed that it violated Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides equality before the law. “It’s time to say the husband is not the master,” CJI Dipak Mishra said while reading out the judgment. The constitution bench unanimously made an observation that Adultery in itself can be a ground for civil issues including divorce, however, it cannot amount to a criminal offence.
The validity of AADHAR and its constitutionality was among the most discussed issue this year. On September 26, in what can be called as a balanced judgment the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of ‘Aadhaar’ however it also limited the biometric identity project. The Supreme Court also ruled that it is not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. A five-judge constitution bench headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra in a 4:1 verdict held there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of an individual.
Live stream of SC Proceedings:
The Supreme Court on September 26 in its historic judgement announced the court proceedings can be live streamed in the larger public interest.
The Five Judges Constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Misra in its judgement said, “Rules have to be followed for this. Live streaming of court proceedings will bring accountability in the judicial system.” The bench further added that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” stating that it will promote transparency in the judiciary. The bench further added that “Appropriate Rules in that regard will be framed soon under Article 145 of the Constitution of India.”
Women’s entry in Sabarimala Temple:
The Supreme Court on September 28 in a historic judgement allowed women from the age of 10 to 50 to enter in the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala.
The five-judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Misra in a 4:1 verdict allowed the entry of women of all age in the Sabarimala Temple. Delivering the Judgement the bench aid, “Right to worship is given to all devotees and there can be no discrimination on the basis of gender.” The bench further added that “The practice of barring women in age group of 10-50 to go inside the temple is violative of constitutional principles.”