Progressive change is inevitable in a dynamic society! Reform and regulation are important to keep up with such transition and changing mindsets. 2017 has been a remarkable and historical year for the Indian Judiciary as various landmark judgments were laid down by the India courts. While some of these cases brought an end to prolonged controversies, others initiated debates!
From conviction of accused in Mumbai Bomb blast case to the right to privacy judgment, the Indian courts were able to restore public’s trust in justice delivery system of the country. Here’s a list of key judgments by Indian courts that left an exemplary impact in the year 2017:
1. Mumbai Bomb Blast Case - In 1993, 12 bomb blasts shook Mumbai. It took 257 innocent lives and injured over 700 people. More than two decades later, a special court was constituted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, and awarded death sentence to Tahir Merchant and Feroz Khan. It also awarded life imprisonment to Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan, along with a fine of Rs 2 lakhs, while the fifth accused Riyaz Ahmed Siddique was sentenced for 10 years.
2. Nirbhaya Rape Case -The Supreme Court upheld the Trial Court and High Court’s decision and awarded death penalty to all four accused in the 2002 Delhi gang rape case. The rape case was considered to be a highly disturbing and heinous crime, and fell under the purview of ‘rarest of rare case’ test.
3. Triple Talaq unconstitutional - The Hon’ble Supreme Court held triple talaq to be unconstitutional and deemed it void. The five-judge bench decision brought an end to a 1400 years old practice. The verdict was delivered by a 3:2 majority. The Supreme Court of India felt the plight of Muslim women who were divorced by their husbands instantaneously over Whatsapp messages, phone calls, letters and Skype for no apparent reason. As per the new Triple Talaq Bill which awaits Rajya Sabha’s nod, any husband indulging in triple talaq or 3 divorce, can get imprisoned for up to three years!
4. Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right - A petition challenging the validity of Indian Biometric Scheme, Aadhar was filed. The 9-judge bench constituted for this case unanimously observed that, “The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution”.
5. Sex with minor wife criminalized - In another historic judgment, the Supreme court, in order to protect the minor wives from marital rape, ruled that sexual intercourse with a minor wife would amount to rape. Before the Supreme Court’s verdict, sexual intercourse with a wife older than 15 years of age did not amount to rape. This was in conflict with the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
6. Ram Rahim Convicted - Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh got convicted in the 2002 rape case for raping a Dera sadhvi who wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, alleging that the Dera Guru raped her and several other Sadvis. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20 years in jail in two separate cases. The religious leader, who had millions of followers was sentenced to two 10-year terms of imprisonment for raping two women.
7. Arushi Talwar Murder Case -14-year old Arushi Talwar’s murder mystery came to an end with the acquittal of her parents after they had to spend 4 years in Dasna jail. Nupur and Rajesh Talwar were accused of murder of their daughter and domestic help Hemraj.
8. Sasikala guilty of corruption - The Indian Judiciary convicted Sasikala Natarajan almost after two decades, along with her three accomplices including Late Jayalalithaa, in the Disproportionate Assets case. The judgment was passed one month after the demise of Jayalalithaa.
9. Justice C.S. Karnan imprisoned - Justice C.S. Karnan was convicted for contempt of court by the Supreme Court after Karnan alleged that the judges of Supreme Court were corrupt. He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment. The order by a seven-judge Supreme Court bench said that the court wanted to send out a message loud and clear that it will not hesitate to punish even one of its own.
10. 2G Spectrum case accused acquitted - All 17 accused in the 2G Spectrum case on December 21, including former telecom minister A Raja and Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief Karunanidhi were acquitted by a CBI Court. The court observed that the prosecution failed miserably to prove any of the allegations and provide any concrete evidences against the accused. The judgement came after 6 years of cancellation of 2G licences.
11. Standing up for National Anthem in Cinema Halls - The SC observed that no one can be forced to practice patriotism and held that “people do not need to stand up in a cinema hall to be perceived as patriotic. It cannot be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, he is less patriotic”.
12. Cooling period in Mutual Consent Divorce waived off - In order to expedite the mutual consent divorce process, the Supreme Court held that cooling period of 6 months can be waived off by the trial court if there seemed to be no possibility of reconciliation of marriage.
13. No Votes in the name of religion - While interpreting Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act, the Supreme Court held that the candidates cannot seek votes on the basis of religion. The apex court also observed that an election will be declared annulled if votes are collected on such basis.
14. Hadiya’s case - Hadiya was freed from her parent’s custody and was allowed to meet her husband. The woman from Kerala, who converted her religion from Hinduism to Islam was asked to go back to her college in Salem, Tamil Nadu.
2017 was a crucial year for the Indian Judiciary as the different Indian Courts passed numerous iconic judgments which exhibit the changing face of Indian Judiciary. Justice was served and many long pending cases came to a conclusion. It has been a busy year for the courts which continued to retain the people’s trust in them. With the Indian court’s vigilance and the right lawyer for your case, it has become much easier to get justice from the Indian courts. MyAdvo eases your journey towards justice by connecting you with the best lawyers! Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +919811782573.