2018: The year of the judiciary, from landmark verdicts to an unprecedented presser
New Delhi, Dec 19: For a legal correspondent, 2018 was probably one of the busiest years. Not a day passed without the Supreme Court being in the news.
Be it the landmark verdicts or that controversial press conference addressed by the four senior-most judges, the Supreme Court was in the news every single day of the year.
Let us go down memory lane and find out all that took place in the Supreme Court of India in the year 2018.
The judge's presser:
An unprecedented press conference by the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court hit the headlines. Breaking convention, the four judges spoke about the manner in which matters being allocated before the various Benches. It did stir up a huge debate and the functioning of the Supreme Court came under question.
Justice Dipak Misra, who retired as the Chief Justice of India a few months back had reserved several orders of national importance. During his last week in office, he delivered several crucial judgments that included the validity of Aadhaar, decriminalisation of Section 377 among others. We can take a look at the major verdicts that the Supreme Court delivered this year.
Decriminalisation of section 377
In September the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which made gay sex a punishable crime.
Validity of Aadhaar:
This was a mixed bag judgment by the SC. While on one hand, it upheld the validity of Aadhaar, on the other it made it clear that it would not be mandatory for all services. It went on to state that private companies such as telecom firms cannot insist on Aadhaar.
The question was whether a Mosque was essential to Islam. Before the court was a challenge to an earlier verdict on the same question. The court said in a 2:1 verdict that it would not interfere with its earlier order.
Verdict on adultery:
In this verdict, the court underlined that Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code treats women as properties of their husbands. The court went on to strike down adultery as a criminal offence.
The Sabarimala verdict:
In one of the most controversial verdicts, the SC lifted the bar on women of all ages while allowing them to enter the Sabarimala temple. However the lone women judge on the Bench, Justice Indu Malhotra said that the practise of not allowing women in the age group of 10 and 50 should continue. However, her views were overruled by the majority verdict.
A long-standing demand to live stream court proceedings was finally allowed by the Supreme Court. The court, however, decided to put this to test, by saying that it would start with the live streaming of constitutional matters in the Supreme Court.