CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
SEEKING VOTES IN THE NAME OF RELIGION IS A CORRUPT PRACTICE
Date of Judgment: January 2, 2017
Describing religion as a private relationship between man and God, a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court held that a request for votes during elections on the basis of religion, caste, race, community or language will amount to a “corrupt practice” and called for the disqualification of a candidate making such a request.
AADHAAR LINK TO I-T RETURN A MUST
Date of Order: June 9, 2017
The Supreme Court maintained the constitutional validity of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act which made compulsory the linkage of income tax returns with Aadhaar. In December, the apex court extended the deadline till March 31.
RIGHT TO PRIVACY IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT
Date of Judgment: August 24, 2017
The Supreme Court held that privacy is a fundamental right because it is an essential part of the right to life. “The right to privacy is an integral part of the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the constitution,” the Court’s nine-judge bench ruled collectively. The Court overruled past judgments on the issue which had ruled that privacy is not a fundamental right.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
PROTESTS BANNED AT JANTAR MANTAR
Date of Judgment: October 5, 2017
The National Green Tribunal banned all protests around Jantar Mantar in Delhi. It observed that the state has failed “to protect the right of citizens to enjoy a pollution-free environment in the Jantar Mantar Road area, close to Connaught Place in the heart of the city”.
CAN A RETWEET AMOUNT TO DEFAMATION?
Date of Judgment: December 15, 2017
A bench of the Supreme Court upheld a Delhi High Court order and dismissed an appeal filed by Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha for quashing of a defamation case lodged by Union minister Arun Jaitley against him. Chadha had retweeted a defamatory tweet by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal made against Arun Jaitley. The high court ruled that retweeting will amount to defamation under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.
RELIGION AND FAITH
NO RESTRICTIONS ON WOMEN ENTERING SABARIMALA TEMPLE
Date of Judgment: October 13, 2017
Responding to a PIL, a Supreme Court constitutional bench stated that denying women entry to the Sabarimala temple is a form of gender inequality and the temple authorities are breaching their constitutional rights in doing so.
WOMEN AND CHILD
SEX WITH MINOR WIFE AMOUNTS TO RAPE
Date of Judgment: October 11, 2017
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court held that sex with a minor wife is rape. However, it clarified that the judgment is not related to the larger issue of marital rape.
RAPE CHARGES WILL NOT BE QUASHED IF ACCUSED MARRIES VICTIM
Date of Judgment: August 1, 2017
The Delhi High Court held that it cannot quash rape charges because the accused married the complainant.
TRIPLE TALAQ IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Date of Judgment: August 22, 2017
By a majority of 3:2, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court held triple talaq illegal and observed that this practice disregards the principal rights of Muslim women as it permanently closes marriage with no hope of compromise.
NO CURE/NO SUCCESS IS NOT NEGLIGENCE
Date of Judgment: December 12, 2017
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) set aside the State Commission order of directing a doctor to pay Rs 15 lakh as compensation to the client as in vitro fertilisation failed in her case. NCDRC held that “no cure/no success is not negligence”.
NEET FOR ALL MEDICAL COLLEGES
Date of Order: August 23, 2017
The Supreme Court directed all medical colleges in India to get admissions through NEET. Tamil Nadu requested exemption on the plea that many students are from rural and poor backgrounds and cannot get private tuitions for high scores in NEET and JEE. The apex court exempted Tamil Nadu for one year only.
ALL BS-III VEHICLES BANNED
Date of Order: March 29, 2017
The Supreme Court observed that the health of the public is more important than the commercial interest of manufacturers and restricted the sale and registration of vehicles with BS-III rating from April 1, 2017.
NO MULTI-LEVEL STOPPING IN THE TAJ TRAPEZIUM ZONE
Date of Order: November 20, 2017
A Supreme Court bench declined to give authorisation for the development of a multi-level stopping in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), asking the Uttar Pradesh government to give visitors a chance to walk in the 10,400 square foot area surrounding Taj Mahal.
RS 5 CRORE COMPENSATION IMPOSED ON ART OF LIVING
Date of Judgment: December 7, 2017
The National Green Tribunal directed the Art of Living Foundation to pay a compensation of Rs 5 crore for dealing with pollution on the floodplains of the Yamuna following the World Culture Festival held by it.
CONTEMPT ON SITTING HIGH COURT JUDGE
Date of Judgment: May 9, 2017
A former high court sitting judge, Justice CS Karnan, was found guilty of contempt of court and awarded a six-month jail term by a seven-judge bench headed by former Chief Justice JS Khehar of the Supreme Court. He was held liable for making false allegations against fellow judges and was the first sitting high court judge in India to serve a prison term.
BAN ON CATTLE MARKET AT INDIA-BANGLADESH BORDER
Date of Order: August 4, 2017
The Supreme Court directed the centre to guarantee that there are no cattle markets within 20 kilometres of the 4,096-kilometre India-Bangladesh border where cattle smuggling are rampant in four states.
Date of Order: November 22, 2017
The Supreme Court directed Jaypee Associates to pay back money of homebuyers evaluated at over Rs 2,000 crore. Jaypee Infratech is facing bankruptcy charges affecting homebuyers in projects all over Noida. “Pay up like pleasant young men,” the chief justice of India told the Jaypee chiefs.
NO VAT CAN BE CHARGED ON DISCOUNTED PRICE
Date of Judgment: November 9, 2017
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held that the MRP of a product includes all taxes and a seller cannot charge VAT again on the discounted price.
DEATH SENTENCE TO NIRBHAYA RAPE CONVICTS
Date of Judgment: May 5, 2017
The Supreme Court maintained the death punishment of convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. The bench was pronouncing its decision on appeals filed by Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay against capital punishment granted to them by the trial court on September 13, 2013, which was maintained by the Delhi High Court on March 12, 2014.
NEW PROCESS FOR DESIGNATION OF SENIOR ADVOCATES
Date of Judgment: October 12, 2017
For making transparent the designation of senior advocates, a Supreme Court bench decided on a new system for senior designation, to be followed by the Supreme Court and all high courts.
FOUR-YEAR JAIL TO SASIKALA
Date of Judgment: February 14, 2017
The Supreme Court held VK Sasikala guilty of corrupt practices and gave her a four-year sentence. The bench also imposed a Rs 10 crore fine on her.
ALL ACQUITTED IN 2G SCAM
Date of Judgment: December 21, 2017
A special CBI court at Patiala House Courts complex acquitted all accused including MK Kanimozhi and former telecom minister A Raja.
NATIONAL ANTHEM CASE
Date of Order: October 23, 2017
The Supreme Court observed that individuals don’t have to stand up in theatres to show their patriotism, directing that the centre consider correcting the guidelines for playing of the national anthem before a film.
—Compiled by Vinay Vats