2017 saw many historic judgements in the apex court

2017 saw many historic judgements in the apex court

The Supreme Court endeared itself to the general public in 2017 by passing several progressive judgments.

By recognising the right to privacy as a fundamental right, a nine-judge bench took an important step in fortifying individual freedom in the country.

The court held privacy as a core of human dignity, which recognised an individual's right to make essential choices of life without any intrusion from state or non-state agencies.

It means the right to be left alone and includes preservation of personal intimacies, sanctity of family life, marriage, food choice, procreation, home and sexual orientation.

Similarly, a five-judge bench declared the instant triple talaq unconstitutional and ended a shackle around Muslim women that has been prevalent for about 1,400 years.

Even as a bill which mandates  three years of jail term for those practicing  triple talaq is being debated in Parliament, it is significant that  even though the verdict was split, the court was unanimous in disapproving the practice.

All the five judges in  the Constitution bench, hailing from different faiths, were in agreement that the practice must stop.

In another judgement, the apex court approved the principle of standardisation of income, including future prospects, for computing compensation in case of death or grievous injuries in motor accidents to those self-employed and on a fixed income.

The top court also directed the Centre to set up special courts to try criminal cases against sitting MPs and MLAs, in a major step to deal with the criminalisation of politics.

In another judgement, the court declared that a man's act of indulging in sexual act with a minor wife would amount to rape.  

Doing away with the mandatory cooling-off period of six months after filing a plea for divorce on mutual consent by a Hindu couple, if there is no chance of reconciliation between the husband and wife, was another landmark decision by the same bench.

However, an order passed for examining the delay in the finalisation of Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges was scuttled by  a CJI-led bench.

Another order pertaining to the setting up of an alternative forum other than high courts to decide criminal appeals was again recalled by the three-judge bench headed by the CJI.

 

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