It’s been a busy week for the Supreme Court of India. The apex court passed many landmark judgements putting an end to a debate around a lot of contentious issueHere’s what has kept the court engaged in the past few days:
After months and months of endless debates and discussions, the apex court has finally stepped in to say that Aadhaar is ‘constitutionally valid’.
Citizens now don’t have to submit your Aadhaar details to schools, colleges, banks and telecom service providers. However, one still needs Aadhaar to file taxes and those living below the poverty line must have an Aadhaar card to get ration.
But the issue of privacy still remains a major concern because the Centre has to step in. It means finance ministry will have to ensure that banks delete all the Aadhaar data that they have. Same goes for telecom ministry which has to direct telecom operators to do the same.
The court has struck down the 158-year-old Section 497 adultery law which could land a man in jail for five years for having an extra-marital affair. The court ruled that the law violates the right to equality because only men could face prosecution under this law. Women were left out because this archaic law considers them as the property of their husbands. But now, one cannot be jailed for having an extra-marital affair. However, adultery still can be a ground for divorce. The court also ruled that a woman is not anyone’s property and is not bound to pledge her sexual autonomy to her husband.
Live Streaming of court proceedings
The court allowed the live-streaming and video recording of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance. According to court’s ruling, there needs to be a reasonable time gap between the proceedings and streaming in order to ensure that only appropriate facts about the case are broadcast.
Not only that, the court also said that the lawyers and the judges must use microphones during a hearing so that the live streaming achieves its purpose. However, the court proceedings of cases involving juveniles, sexual assault and matrimonial issues will not be telecast. Also, the broadcast will depend upon the prior consent of all the concerned parties.
“Religion cannot be a cover to deny women her right to worship,” observed the court while allowing the entry of women in Sabarimala temple in Kerala. As per the age-old custom, women between 10 and 50 years were banned from entering the temple because the presiding deity Lord Ayappa is a celibate.
The court observed that keeping women out of the temple on the basis of menstruation is against their dignity citing that the bar on the entry of women is not an essential part of the religion.