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10 recent landmark judgments by Supreme Court that changed the course of Indian legislation

Posted By admin / October 2, 2016 / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

The judicial system of India comprises of Supreme Court, High Courts and other courts who are considered as protectors of law and order in the society. The objective of having a separate judicial system is to deliver apt and unprejudiced legal solutions to denizens of India. The irony in our judicial system is that there is a huge backlog of pending cases until now and it needs to address both efficiently as well as speedily. Amidst this, our judiciary pronounces landmark judgments that have extreme consequences which can either turn out progressive or bring regressive repercussions on the society. Let us take a look at the recent landmark judgments passed by the Supreme Court of India.

1. Nirbhaya Case (March 2013)

A case that awakens the nation’s consciousness led the judiciary to pass a landmark judgment that widened the definition and scope of punishment in Rape laws.

Case:-

A young girl was gang raped by 6 people, which included 5 adults and 1 minor in a bus. Later, they brutally heaved an iron rod in her vagina which severely damaged her internal organs. At last, they threw the bodies of the girl and her male friend out of the bus and fled away.

Judgment:-

The Supreme Court after viewing all the facts gave death sentence to 4 adults and sent the minor to reform facility for 3 years. The Rape law was amended and the definition of rape was amended and widened. The definition will reprimand penetration of any woman’s orifice with any part of man’s body or with any material or object. The punishment of rape included a compulsory minimum sentence of 20 years and death in extreme cases.

2. NOTA (2013)

Judgment:-

The Supreme Court granted voters NOTA i.e. ‘None of the above’ option while election voting, which gave the citizens of India a ‘Right to Negative Vote’ if they feel that candidates standing for election are not suitable and do not deserve their vote. The Court said that, “Negative voting will lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. If the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject candidate is a fundamental right of speech and expression under Constitution”

3. Section 377 (2014)

Case:-

As per Section 377 of IPC, Gay sex is a punishable offence, irrespective of age and consent where punishment is ‘life term’ sentence. Later, High Court passed a landmark judgment which cancelled Section 377 quoting that it is unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults. Later, the judgment was ruled out by Supreme Court that ordered the existence of Section 377, but left the onus on Parliament for final consideration on keeping it or amending it.

Judgment:-

The landmark judgment passed by Supreme Court now recognizes the status of transgender as Third Gender, where this category has to be treated under minorities and thus, should hold reservation quota in jobs, education and amenities. But, Section 377 still exists and is applicable on gay sex.

4. Dance Bars reopened after a ban of 2 years (2013)

Case:-

The Government of Maharashtra shut all the dance bars across the state by announcing that dance bars were corrupting youth and creating havoc. This caused unemployment to over 75000 girls, which led them to abandoning the state or choosing the course of prostitution. Though, Bombay High Court allowed the opening of the dance bars on the ground that it is a violation of Article 19 of the constitution i.e. Right to carry one’s profession.

Judgment:-

Even after the appeal was made before Supreme Court by the state government against the order of High court, the Supreme Court’s judgment stayed the order of Bombay High Court. The ban was lifted and allowed the reopening of dance bars.

5. Section 66A (use of social media)(2013)

Case:-

A plea was made by Shreya Singhal before the Supreme Court against an arrest of a social activist under IT Act on a complaint filed by MLA of Andhra Pradesh.

Judgment:-

The Supreme Court passed the verdict in favor of petitioner stating that no arrest should be made for posting objectionable comments on social media websites without prior consent and approval from a senior police officer of the rank of Inspector General.

6. Cancer Drug to be cheap (2013)

Case:-

Novartis, Swiss based Pharma Company applied for exclusive patent rights of manufacturing cancer drug, Glivec, claiming that substances used in the drug were their invention and thereby restrained Indian companies from manufacturing it as a common medicine.

Judgment:-

The plea was moved before the Supreme Court and after 7 long years, Supreme Court ended the patent battle, by dismissing the plea. The rejection was made to emphasize that life threatening disease should be cheaper for easy availability to common people.

7. Suspending the Sale of Acid (2013)

Judgment:-

In consideration to increasing acid attack cases, the Supreme Court made a decision and ordered the National and State Governments to govern the sale of acids in India. The sale should be made only after the buyer provides the seller its valid ID proof. Additionally, the buyer has to explain the purpose and such sales have to be reported to the area police by the vendors. The honorable Court has also asked for the responses from the chief secretaries of the governments on rendering free-of- cost treatment to acid attack victims.

8. Lily Thomas Vs. Union of India (2013)

Judgment:-

According to the ruling passed by the Supreme Court in the said case, Any MP, MLA or MLC, who is condemned for crime with a punishment of more than 2 year imprisonment /sentence, will not be qualified as elected representative on the Date of Conviction. The review petition filed by the Government was also dismissed by the Supreme Court.

9. Minor rape survivor was allowed abortion (2015)

Case:-

A 14 year old rape survivor from the state of Gujarat appealed before the Supreme Court against the order of State High Court which denied the permission to terminate the pregnancy.

Judgment:-

The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the High Court by allowing abortion if the clinical psychologists and gynecologists allow the same.

10. Termination of 24 week old pregnancy permitted on account of abnormal fetus (2016)

Case:-

The medical termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 allows abortion within 20 weeks of pregnancy only after it is consented by 2 registered practitioners. A rape survivor challenged the validity of this act on the ground that she learned the abnormality of fetus only after the end of 20 weeks and also that; it’s a matter of her life and death.

Judgment:-

After viewing the medical board’s findings which indicated that the continuity of pregnancy can endanger the life of the petitioner and that the fetus is abnormal, allowed the termination of 24 week pregnancy.

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