Supreme Court to hear major cases in July, including Aadhaar
July will likely see a bunch of important verdicts and hearings in the Supreme Court, the most crucial one perhaps being the validity of Aadhaar. The Supreme Court's 45-day summer break has come to an end, and all eyes will be on it with issues like Delhi's statehood, the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid conflict, and challenges to polygamy and nikah halala to be heard.
The Supreme Court had reserved its judgement in May
At least 1.18 billion Indians who have already enrolled in Aadhaar, will be looking to the apex court for its verdict. The five judge bench - Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had reserved its judgement on the validity of Aadhaar on May 10, after a marathon hearing which lasted 40 days.
The apex court's decision will be a landmark judgement
The Supreme Court's verdict will have implications on the Centre's multifarious assurances about Aadhaar, including its claims that Aadhaar's biometric data is hack-proof, and that it doesn't store biometrics of individuals. Many had argued that Aadhaar is an infringement on citizens' privacy, and a surveillance tool for the government. Regardless of which way the SC leans, it's slated to be a landmark judgement.
Verdict on Delhi's statehood is also expected
The SC is also expected to give a verdict on Delhi's statehood. The apex court had, in December last year, reserved its verdict on a petition filed by the AAP government, seeking interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution, which demarcates powers between the Centre and Delhi government. Currently, there's a conflict between Delhi's elected government and the Centre over the capital's administration.
Lot of friction between L-G and the AAP government
There's a lot of friction between the elected AAP government and the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, who represents the Centre. AAP wants land and police in the New Delhi area to be under exclusive control of the Centre, and wants the rest of administrative duties under the state's jurisdiction. Recently, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal led a dharna at the L-G's house, protesting against interference.
Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue on the cards too
The Supreme Court will also hear appeals challenging an eight-year-old Allahabad High Court verdict, which had equally divided the 2.77 acre Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site among three parties - the Sunni Wakf Board, Ram Lalla (the idol), and Nirmohi Akhara. Owing to the sensitive nature of the issue, the apex court's verdict might lead to explosive reactions across the country.
Challenges to polygamy, nikah halala expected to be heard
The SC is also likely to hear the Centre's plea to declare the Muslim practices of polygamy and nikah halala 'unconstitutional'. Nikah Halala is a controversial practice that forbids a divorced woman from re-marrying her first husband until she marries another man and consummates the marriage. Activists allege that it leads to trafficking, but the clergy maintains that the practice is absent in India.