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7 most talked about judgments by Supreme Court in 2015

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By Harshmeet Singh

The year 2015 can be rightly termed as the ‘year of judicial activism.’ With the Parliament facing disruptions all through the year, it was the Supreme Court that assumed the leading role in driving the country forward.

Before we enter into 2016 with high hopes, NewsGram brings you the seven most path-breaking judgments given by the Supreme Court in 2015.

  1. Jats don’t belong to the OBC

With an aim to appease the Jat community, the central government listed them under the OBC category in 9 states, giving them reservations in government jobs and educational institutes. Not pleased with this populist step, the Supreme Court struck down the government notification and sense prevailed.

  1. Supreme Court strikes down the Section 66A of Indian IT Act

Section 66A of the Indian IT Act was nothing short of draconian. It was widely used by the police to arrest innocent people for criticizing politicians online. The SC called it a violation of the fundamental right of liberty and freedom of expression and termed it ‘unconstitutional.’

  1. SC orders CBSE to conduct the AIPMT afresh

This year’s AIPMT was filled with allegations of cheating and fraud. Close to six and a half lakh aspirants appeared for the examination. While the CBSE argued that it will exclude the sheets of those found involved in cheating, rather than conducting the exam again, the SC didn’t buy this excuse. The judges said, “if such an examination is saved, merit would be a casualty generating a sense of frustration in genuine students, with aversion to the concept of examination.”

  1. SC declares NJAC unconstitutional and void

NJAC, which sought to take away the judiciary’s right to appoint judges to the High Court and the Supreme Court, remained in the news for the better part of the year. In October, the SC struck down the NJAC and called it ‘unconstitutional and void.’ The presiding judge said, “It is difficult to hold that the wisdom of appointment of judges can be shared with the political-executive. In India, the organic development of civil society, has not as yet sufficiently evolved. The expectation from the judiciary, to safeguard the rights of the citizens of this country, can only be ensured, by keeping it absolutely insulated and independent, from the other organs of governance.”

  1. Panel appointed by SC suspends Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL for 2 years

Ever since its inception, the IPL has been marred with serious allegations of spot fixing and match fixing. The SC-appointed panel suspended CSK and RR from IPL for a couple of years since their owners were found guilty of betting on the games and leaking the team’s information to the bookers.

  1. SC sentences Yakub Memon to death

In March this year, SC sentenced Yakub Abdul Razak Memon to death for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Though he followed it up a number of review petitions, curative petitions, and mercy pleas, he was eventually hanged on 30th July 2015 in the Nagpur Jail. His death sentence was widely opposed by a number of social groups which accused the court and the government of being unfair to him.

  1. SC allows the Dance bars to be reopened

Putting on hold the Maharashtra Government’s ban on Mumbai’s dance bars, the Supreme Court allowed the dance bars to be reopened. Along with this, the SC also empowered the concerned authorities to regulate the dance performances which they find inappropriate.

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Supreme Court Announces Triple Talaq Ban in India, Calls it ‘Un-islamic’

The BMMA celebrates its victory over the much-debated practice of instant divorce

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• Supreme court has ruled that the practice of triple talaq is illegal.
• BMMA celebrates the ban on unilateral divorce.
In a landmark decision by a five-member panel, the Supreme Court has banned the practice of triple talaq in India, calling the much-debated practice “unislamic, arbitrary and unconstitutional”. The verdict, which was passed by a 3-2 majority on August 22, 2017, has been met with mixed reactions all over the country, attracting applause as well as apprehension from people.

What is triple talaq

The practice of triple talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, is a Islamic ritual through which a man might divorce his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’, that is, the Arabic word for ‘divorce’, three times. The controversial practice, which dates back to Islamic scriptures of the 8th century AD, was a common one among the Muslim population in India, most of which follow the Hanafi school of law. The practice of instant divorce has often been enacted in India, not only through oral declaration, but also through letters, emails, text messages, Skype and Whatsapp.

 

 The Supreme Court of India bans the practice of triple talaq
Stock image, VOA News

Reactions to the triple talaq ban in India

“It’s been 10 years of a struggle on the 8 percent of the population, so that’s a big respite, and a big relief,”stated Noorjehan, the co-founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), also known as the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement. The BMMA had fought a long and hard legal battle in order to secure this verdict, on the grounds that the practice of instant divorce through an oral declaration has left many Muslim women bereft of their right to alimony as well as the custody of children. The BMMA has also claimed that the prescribed avenues for reconsideration or reconciliation are rarely followed in India, as a result of which 90 per cent of the 4710 women they had interviewed had called for a ban on the controversial practice. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), on the other hand, has opposed the verdict, claiming that it infringes the right to religion of Muslim people, which is granted to the citizens of India via Article 25 of the Indian Constitution.

The Supreme Court of India bans the practice of triple talaq
Stock image, VOA News

However, the verdict has been passed against triple talaq by a five-member panel of judges, in which each of the judges belonged to a different religion: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity, after they had reviewed the petitions of seven women who felt victimised by the practice.
“Triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat … What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well,” declared the panel of Supreme Court judges, making India the 23rd nation to ban the practice of unilateral divorce, after Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

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Love Jihad Case : Kerala’s State Women Commission Directs SP to submit report on Hadiya’s Condition

24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan.  However, their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala

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Office of Kerala Women Comission
Office of Kerala Women Comission. Official Website KWC

Kerala, October 28, 2017 : A day after a video of Hadiya pleading to be ‘saved’ from her father’s brutalities was released, Kerala’s State Women Commission has directed Kottayam Superintendent of Police to inquire and submit a report on Hadiya’s present conditions.

In the video release at a press conference in Kochi by social activist Rahul Eashwar, Hadiya can be heard saying, “You have to get me out. I am sure I will be killed tomorrow or the day after.” Hadiya claims that her father is physically assaulting her and pleads to be saved in the video before her voice trails away.

The direction came following reports that Hadiya is being sedated and physically abused at her parents’ house.

The State Women Commission has told the SP that an officer not less than the rank of a DSP should conduct the inquiry and submit a report on the condition of the 24-year old woman in love jihad case.

24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan.  Their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala after Hadiya’s father Ashokan has approached the court, claiming that his daughter had been forcefully converted and her alleged husband was involved in plans to take her out of the country for questionable reasons.

Consequently, Hadiya’s husband Shafin Jahan had approached the Supreme Court and challenged the order by the High Court of Kerala, which is still hearing the case.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

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Gorkhaland: SC allows withdrawl of Central Forces from Darjeeling

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The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 27: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Centre to withdraw seven companies of central paramilitary forces from trouble-torn Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal where the agitation for Gorkhaland, a separate state for Gorkhas took a violent turn.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the Centre to withdraw the seven companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) for being used for election duties in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The bench also sought a response from the West Bengal government on the Centre’s appeal against the High Court’s order putting on hold its decision to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of the central paramilitary forces deployed in the hill district.

The apex court also stayed the pending proceedings before the High Court and said that it will deal with the case in a holistic manner and posted the appeal of the Centre for further hearing on November 27.

In an interim order, the High Court had stayed the withdrawal of CAPF from the Darjeeling hills till October 27 after the state government approached it against the Centre’s decision.(IANS)