The Indian Judiciary has restored the country’s confidence by passing three milestone judgements.
Within the span of seven days, the judiciary delivered three notable decisions in three cases that held the nation’s attention. On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court struck down the Instant Triple Talaq practice, on August 24, 2017, it announced that Right to Privacy IS a Fundamental Right. To top it all, the CBI court in Panchkula indicted self-styled God-man, Gurmeet Ram Rahim in for the rape of two girls.
The landmark judgement against Instant Talaq, was a much-awaited ruling in favour of Muslim women all across India. A special bench heard the case, comprising Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice RF Nariman, Justice UU Lalit, and Justice Abdul Nazeer, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar. This decision did ruffle a few patriarchal feathers, but gave women the rights they they are to enjoy under the constitution.
This was not the only Democratic decision passed by the SC. Despite the current Government’s clear-cut saying that ‘Citizens do not have absolute right over their bodies’, the Court ruled that Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right, thereby giving people of the country the right over their lives and bodies.
The case was heard by Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice SA Bobde, Justice RK Agrawal, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S Abdul Nazeer.
This judgment was steps ahead of the previous verdicts announced in the cases of MP Sharma (1958) and Kharak Singh (1961). These cases were similar as they discussed in length that the Indian Constitution does not protect an individual’s right to privacy.
The Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape, despite the 20,000 protestors standing by him outside the court. The supporters of this ‘Baba’, set public and private property on fire, causing the deaths of 29 people and injuring over 250.
On August 28, 2017, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years in prison, 10 years for each of the two rapes committed.
These judgments bring much-needed sense of hope and justice to India.