The judiciary, being one of the three organs of the government, plays an important role of the final interpreter of the Constitution and the general law. The Supreme Court of India which is the final interpreter and guardian of the Constitution of India, has time and again given landmark verdicts on a range of issues. In 2018, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India pronounced certain landmark verdicts on several issues and the year also saw the left liberal spectrum of the political ecosystem trying to politicise the institution and even targeting the previous Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra. Here, we revisit some of the important verdicts that were delivered in 2018.
LGBT Verdict, archaic provision criminalising consensual homosexual acts struck down:
In this historic verdict the Supreme Court struck down the provisions of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which criminalized homosexual acts of consensual sex between adults. The then CJI Misra spoke on the issue stating that the LGBTQ community had the same fundamental rights as the rest of the citizens of India. The five judge bench included Justices RF Nariman, DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Justice Khanwilkar along with CJI Dipak Misra. The judgment on the issue had been reserved on July 17 this year after four days of hearing which involved passionate debate between the two sides. The judgment given by the apex court, however, upheld the provisions of Section 377 which dealt with bestiality or non-consensual acts.
This progressive verdict therefore, brought an end to an archaic provision which was enacted during the colonial times, thus, representing a colonial hangover. The verdict thus came as a great relief for the entire LGBTQ community.
Verdict on Mosque (Mosque is not essential to Islam):
In this case related to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri dispute in Ayodhya, it was held that Mosque is not essential to Islam. Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Ashok Bhushan made it clear that the observations made in paragraph 52 of Dr M Ismail Faruqui versus Union of India judgment that mosque was not an essential part of Islam and Namaz can be offered anywhere have to be understood in the specific context of land acquisition proceedings. It also observed that any religious place cannot enjoy immunity from compulsory acquisition, and the observations with respect to mosque were made in that context. Therefore, the 1994 verdict dealing with this issue was upheld and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.
This was seen as something that cleared the way for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The opposition had been trying to delay the hearing of Ayodhya case till after 2019. However, all such attempts were rendered futile after the apex court verdict.
The entire opposition was trying to propagate that the Rafale deal was some sort of a scam. People like Arun Shorie became defence experts overnight and started questioning the Rafale pricing. Even though there was nothing to suggest that there were any wrongdoings or impropriety as far as the Rafale deal was concerned. The champion of left liberal ecosystem, Prashant Bhushan then moved the Supreme Court over this issue. However, in a massive blow to those trying to politicise the crucial defence deal, the Supreme Court dismissed all PILs that demanded a court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal. The Supreme Court also said it was not its job to examine the pricing of the Rafale jets. (The government had previously said that the pricing details could not be made public due to national security concerns). The Supreme Court also observed that the process involved in the deal was perfectly fine.
Notwithstanding all the malicious propaganda peddled by the Congress and its ecosystem, the verdict cleared the air around this issue.
Verdict on Rohingya crisis:
In what turned out to be a heartbreaking development for the leftist-liberal cabal, the Supreme Court rejected Advocate Prashant Bhushan’s plea against the deportation of seven illegal Rohingya immigrants. The illegal immigrants who had been deported by India to Myanmar after the apex court refused to interfere with their deportation are Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Md Yonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam. All of them are in the age group of 26-32 years. The Myanmar government had admitted that the concerned immigrants are citizens of Myanmar and also accepted to take them back. Therefore, the centre decided to deport them to Myanmar. They had been caught in 2012 for illegally entering India and had been lodged in Assam’s jail since 2012.
The pseudo-seculars in India had been insisting on keeping the illegal Rohingya immigrants within India and were very vocal against any attempts to deport them. And this itself explains the importance of this verdict.
Verdict allowing live-streaming of court proceedings:
In a year that saw several historic verdicts, the Supreme Court in one of such verdicts allowed the live-streaming of court proceedings in the larger public interest. The Bench has said that proper rules with respect to live streaming will be framed very soon under Article 145 of the Constitution of India. While passing the order, the Supreme Court said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” The apex court also observed that live-streaming of the proceedings will bring more transparency in judicial proceedings. This has definitely set new benchmarks as far as judicial transparency is concerned.