Dipak Misra retired Chief Justice of India has been associated with several landmark judgement. During his 13 months tenure, India witnessed many fair judgments.
Apart from remarkable verdicts, Dipak Misra was in the news for two major controversies. First, petitions were filed in the supreme court for scam of Medical council linking Justice Dipak Misra and the second being Retired Justice Chelamswar led with three other senior judge to conduct an unprecedented press conference objecting to the manner of cases being allocated to different benches.
1. Opening of the doors of Sabarimala Temple’s for women:
On 28th September 2018, Dipak Misra led a bench along with other five judge comprising Justice R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and DY Chandrachud overruled 27 years old decision of Kerala High court’s that restricted entry of women.
2. Aadhar card is not mandatory:
Chief justice ruled that aadhar is mandatory for Income Tax Returns (ITR) and allotment of Permanent Account Number(PAN). To buy a new sim card, service provider cannot seek aadhar details. Just providing KYC documents like Voter ID card, driving license, etc. Students of CBSE,NEET,UGC does not require aadhar number to appear in exams.
Even schools cannot seek for aadhar cards for admissions. The supreme court has made exception for children. No child can be denied benefits of any scheme for not having aadhar card. Thus, the apex court has struck down Section 57 of the Aadhar Act as “Unconditional”. This means no company or private entity can seek aadhar identification.
3. Live Streaming of Supreme Court Proceedings:
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant” – stated a bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on September 26, delivering a verdict allowing live streaming of court proceedings. Important national and constitutional cases were live streamed by the apex court. This landmark judgement helped to maintain transparency in courtrooms and made lawyers as well as judges responsible.
4. Adultery Not An Offence:
In the last week of his tenure, Dipak Misra delivered section 497 of the IPC as unconstitutional. Section 497 was defined adultery a crime. It was an offence committed by a man against a married man if the former established an adulterous relationship. Adultery is no longer a crime but it will continue to be grounds for divorce.
Adultery law came sharp criticism for treating women as possessions rather than human beings. The supreme court declared section 497 as unconstitutional. Adultery is no longer a crime but if it leads to someone committing suicide , the act will be treated as a crime.
Few More Major Verdicts by Dipak Misra:
- Midnight hearing and rejecting plea of Yakub Menon.
- Death sentence to convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape.
- Declaring the Cauvery as a “National Asset”, the river is not a state’s property but natural resource.
- Disapproving honor killing or honor crime.
5. Gay sex not a crime-section 377:
In a judgement in September, the supreme court allowed gay sex no more a crime. Sex between two adults was covered under the right of privacy. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) holds to disobey the fundamental right to privacy.
Section 377 would continue to be in force in cases of unnatural sex with children and animals. Sexual activities with children and animals remains a penal offence.
6. Online FIR Mandatory- section 154:
Justice Dipak Misra , gave a ruling to make online FIR mandatory. The supreme court ordered that all states should make FIR online within 24 hours of its registration. The uploading of FIR online would help the affected victims. Most people hesitate going to police station when a crime takes place. Registering a complaint is a endless process.
Sometimes people also think that the police will not be cooperative. FIRs can be lodged by the person against whom the offence is committed. The procedure of filing an FIR is mentioned under section 154. An E-FIR can be lodged only for offences like dowry, death, murder, rape, etc. In these cases police can make the arrest without the court order.
7. National Anthem:
Playing the National Anthem before the screening of the films was mandatory. Earlier movie theaters choose to play the National Anthem. During which the audience would have to stand as a mark of respect. This was also exempted for the physical challenged people, people who are ill, etc. However, playing national anthem in the cinema halls was a wrong step from supreme court.
Cinema hall is not the place to play national anthem. People go to movies for recreation ,enjoyment. People should not be forced to listen the national anthem as this may reduce the personal freedom. Some must be only interested to watch the movie and thus this creates a disrespect to our nation. Thus, playing national anthem in cinema hall is optional.
Just before his retirement CJI Misra led a benches to deliver 7 major judgments in last 6 working days. He took his retirement on 2nd October 2018, but India still remembers for his brave, bold and fast verdicts.