26 November: Today we celebrate constitution Day (National Law Day), which is also known as Samvidhan Divas. The Constitution of India was affirmed on November 26, 1949, an important milestone in the country’s journey as an independent nation. However, the constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.
The Constitution and its savior Supreme Court
Constitution Day was first celebrated in 2015 when the Bharathiya Janatha Party lead government decided to record the day as a tribute to the great Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, who executed an important task in the framing of the Indian Constitution.
Talking about the Indian constitution, the Supreme Court at the top of the Indian Judiciary is the highest authority to support the constitution of India, to protect rights and liberties of citizens and to uphold the values of rule of law. Therefore it is known as the protector of our Constitution. Here are some of the historical verdicts made by the Supreme court over recent times.
Decriminalizing Section 377
In 2018, the Supreme court decriminalizes Section 377 of the IPC. In a memorable judgment, SC ordered that consensual adult sex is not a crime saying sexual bearings are natural and people have no command over it. All five judges on the bench signed the verdict and homosexuality was legally established and recognized by the law.
As before the reforms in this law, the people of the LGBT community were offenders in their own country without actually committing a crime. There were a few people in our county who used to say that Homosexuality is unnatural and it is a type of disease that can be cured but the recent Supreme Court Verdict was a slap on such characters.
Sabarimala Temple case
The Supreme Court lifted a ban that barred women between 10 and 50 years of age from accessing Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud agreed with each other while Indu Malhotra dissented saying that courts shouldn’t decide which religious practices should be looked down or not. “Devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination”, the court said.
Verdict over Aadhar privacy
The long-awaited validity of Aadhar was finally out and now there is no need to link your Aadhar with your mobile number and Bank Accounts. Many people questioned the Aadhar Law because as per them it disrupted the privacy of a common man. But after this verdict, it is no longer needed to link Bank Accounts and Mobile Numbers with Aadhar and the educational bodies like CBSE or UGC cannot force anyone for Aadhar. Nonetheless, It is still compulsory to link Aadhar with PAN.
Verdict over adultery
In September 2018, the Supreme court rejected a 158-year-old law that acknowledges adultery to be an offence perpetrated by one man against another and has been criticized for treating women as mastery rather than human beings. The Supreme Court announced Section 497 as illegal.
The court clearly said that “Husband is not the Master of Wife” and wife is not her husband’s subordinate and time had come for society to realize that a woman is as equivalent to a man in every admiration.
Verdict on LAL BATTI or Red beacons
Red beacons are interchangeable with the “Raj mentality” and are the “opposite of the concept of a Republic”, the Supreme Court declared in 2013. The ban, which got effective from May 1, 2017, doesn’t allow vehicles of the country’s top dignitaries such as the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to use the ‘coveted’ Lal Batti.
Following the ruling which put an end to VIP culture, PM Modi said, “Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP. ”
In an important verdict over Ayodhya conflict land, the Supreme court ordered the land should be given to a trust to build the Hindu temple. It also directed the government to give an alternative 5 acres of land to the Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque. In one of the most anticipated judgments in India’s history, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi put a full stop to the more than a century-old dispute that has split the social foundation of the nation.
In a 1024-page judgment, the SC stated that the mosque should be built at a “prominent site” and a trust should be established within three months for the structure of the temple at the place many Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.