Supreme Court verdicts this week: From Aadhaar to Ayodhya, big judgments expected

India

The top court will today pronounce its verdict on whether chargesheeted lawmakers can contest elections even before their conviction in criminal cases and whether an MP or MLA who is also a lawyer can be allowed to perform the dual role.

The Supreme Court is likely to deliver a spate of crucial verdicts in the next six days including Aadhaar, Ayodhya and adultery headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who is set to retire on October 2. The top court will today pronounce its verdict seeking disqualification of lawmakers who have been chargesheeted from contesting elections even before their conviction in criminal cases and whether an MP or MLA who is also a lawyer can be allowed to perform the dual role. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will rule on petitions filed by various parties, including NGO Public Interest Foundation.

Here are the other cases on which judgement is expected.

Aadhaar

After a marathon hearing that lasted 38 working days spread over four months, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra reserved its judgement on a clutch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the 2016 Aadhaar Act. The top court will essentially decide on whether Aadhaar meets constitutional provisions and whether the government can continue seeking it as a mandatory identification in the name of furthering its welfare goals. Aadhaar has been criticised by many as an intrusive instrument given its need for biometric data of individuals.

Ayodhya dispute

The Supreme Court will resume hearings in the Ayodhya Ram temple – Babri Masjid case on September 28 with lawyers making arguments on whether the matter should be referred to a larger bench and if it involves constitutional questions. A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer had taken up the long-pending Ayodhya land title appeals against the Allahabad High Court judgment of 2010, which had ordered a three-way partition of the disputed land.

Sabarimala

The top court is likely to give its verdict on the challenge to the prohibition of menstruating women in the age group of 10 to 50 years to enter Ayyappa’s Sabarimala temple.

Reservation in promotions

Another important judgment will be on the Centre’s petition questioning the 2006 judgement laying down criteria of a quantifiable date demonstrating the inadequacy of SC/ST representation in higher echelon of administration coupled with administrative efficiency for grant of reservation in promotion.

The Supreme Court in July reserved its verdict on petitions seeking a seven-bench examination of its judgment in the M Nagaraj case which had put conditions for granting quota benefits for job promotions to SC/ST employees working in the public sector and conditions for granting quota benefits for job promotions to SC/ST employees in the public sector.

The 2006 verdict said that “the state is not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions. However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the state has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335.”

Adultery:

The Supreme Court in August reserved its verdict on pleas challenging constitutional validity of penal law on adultery. Hearing the mater, the apex court questioned the government’s stand defending the adultery law that punishes a man for having a sexual relationship with a married woman without the consent of her husband. The petitioners want Section 497 of the IPC, which punishes only a man for the offence of adultery, to be made gender-neutral.

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