6 Supreme Court judgements that changed the course of India
In a decisive judgement, the Supreme Court today ordered that floor test should be conducted tomorrow in the Karnataka assembly wherein BJP, the single-largest party, has to prove its majority. The judgement restores our faith in judiciary. The Karnataka Governor had given BJP 15 days, but when Congress objected, the apex court rose up to the occasion. Here's looking at 6 such landmark judgments.
"It is the right of every human being to choose their gender," observed the Supreme Court while delivering the landmark judgement recognizing transgenders as the third gender in 2014. Transgenders are one of the most discriminated and ill-treated people in India, the judgement was a welcome change. SC also directed the government to give them job and education quotas in line with other minorities.
In 2013, the Supreme Court had restricted the use of red beacon lights and asked the Center to frame rules by amending the Motor Vehicles Act. The judgement was lying around for long until the debate caught fire on TV news. Though delayed, 4 years later, on May 1 in 2017, Modi-led government banned the use of 'lal battis' and hence, the VVIP culture.
In August last year, a nine-judge Constitutional bench declared that Right to Privacy, a fundamental right, is intrinsic to our life and liberty and is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The verdict was a stepping stone in the ongoing debate on Aadhaar where citizens have been persuaded to provide personal information including fingerprints, which may be a violation of privacy.
Instant triple talaq has been banned in most Islamic countries, but India's case, just like always, remains curious. This brutal anti-woman law came to an end following 35-year-old Shayara Bano's petition along with other victims. The Supreme Court ruled against the draconian law, which validated divorce notices on WhatsApp, phone calls and so on, a shame on the face of a developing Indian society.
Even though illegal, child marriage remains prominent in India and girl children being its obvious victim. From rape to physical violence, their human rights are taken for granted. Finally, in October last year, the Supreme Court held that sexual intercourse with a wife below 18 years, is rape, ending the exception of marriage within Section 375(rape) of the Indian Penal Code.
The most disputed of all, the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case concerns the right to religious worship. In 1992, following L.K. Advani's 'Rath Yatra', the mosque was demolished by 'Karsevaks'. Who owns the right to possess the site is an ongoing debate in the Supreme Court. CJI Dipak Misra-led special bench said it would treat the case as "pure land dispute".