Rewind 2018 Nation
The Supreme Court on August 22, 2018 banned a controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce as arbitrary and unconstitutional, in a landmark verdict for gender justice that will stop Muslim men calling off a marriage on a whim The top court said Triple Talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends marriage without any chance of reconciliation
The Supreme Court on August 22, 2018 banned a controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce as arbitrary and unconstitutional, in a landmark verdict for gender justice that will stop Muslim men calling off a marriage on a whim. The top court said Triple Talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends marriage without any chance of reconciliation.
Kerala’s biggest tragedy
Severe floods affected Kerala, due to unusually high rainfall during the monsoon season. It was the worst flood in Kerala in nearly a centur. Over 483 people died, and 14 are missing. About a million people were evacuated. All 14 districts of the state were placed on red alert.
Lifting ban on entry of women to Sabarimala Temple
Saying that "Devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination", the Supreme Court removed a ban that prevented women between 10 and 50 years of age from entering Kerala's Sabarimala temple. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud concurred with each other while Indu Malhotra dissented saying that courts shouldn't determine which religious practices should be struck down or not. In a major development, four transgenders were allowed to enter the temple on Dec 19.
Aadhaar, conditions apply
The banks and mobile phone companies can't insist on Aadhaar-linking anymore. A five-judge bench of Supreme Court on September 26, 2018 ruled that Aadhaar was constitutional but making it mandatory for availing government services was unconstitutional. So, while Aadhaar-PAN linking is mandatory, banks and telecom companies cannot ask ask people to link their bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar. This is unconstitutional. The bench termed the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Rules as well as the notification issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in this regard as unconstitutional. It also means that banks and mobile phone companies can't anymore insist on Aadhaar number to verify your details when you seek a new connection or open a new bank account.
Decriminalistion of Gay Sex, Section 377 partly struck down
The five-judge bench of the SC has partly struck down Section 377 as violative of right to equality. (Photo: Reuters) The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment which came out in early September, decriminalised gay sex holding that consensual sex between two adults was covered under the right to privacy. A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Dipak Misra partly struck down Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) holding it violative of the fundamental right to privacy. However, the Supreme Court said that Section 377 would continue to be in force in cases of unnatural with animals and children. Any kind of sexual activity with animals and children remains a penal offence. The Supreme Court held that Section 377 of IPC was a weapon to harass members of LGBTQ-plus community resulting in discrimination against them.
Adultery not a crime
The Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 150-year-old law that considered adultery to be an offence committed against a married man by another man. Defined under Section 497 of the IPC, adultery law came under sharp criticism for treating women as possessions rather than human beings. The Supreme Court declared Section 497 as unconstitutional. Adultery is no longer a crime but if it leads to someone committing suicide, the act will be treated as a crime - abetment to suicide.
Live-streaming of SC proceedings
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant," said the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and ordered live-streaming and video recording of the court proceedings yesterday, September 26. CJI Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar delivered a common judgment. Justice DY Chandrachud gave a separate but concurring judgment. The SC said that live streaming would bring in more transparency in judicial proceedings and effectuate the "public right to know".
Reservation in promotion for SC/ST government employees
The SC turned down an appeal to reconsider its own earlier order that had rejected the idea of reservations for Scheduled Castes (SCs) or STs in government job promotions on September 26.
Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid
The Supreme Court turned down two pleas in the Ayodhya case on September 27, 2018. One that directly deals with the way the disputed land was split according to the 2010 Allahabad High Court ruling, and another that would have had a direct impact on the Supreme Court's final verdict in the case.
Bhima Koregaon arrest
In a setback for activists, the Supreme Court ordered an extension of the house arrest of activists for four more weeks on September 28, 2018.
Politicians with criminal antecedents
In its unanimous verdict, a five-judge bench left it to Parliament to bar netas facing trial for heinous and grievous offences from contesting polls by enacting a "strong law", while it observed that the criminalisation of politics is a bitter manifest truth and a "termite" to the citadel of democracy. Refusing to put a ban on candidates with criminal antecedents from entering the poll fray, the court said the law should also make it mandatory for political parties to revoke the membership of candidates facing serious criminal cases.