The judiciary has played the role of a pillar for unleashing social transformation. Examine the statement with reference to recent judgments of Supreme Court.
The Preamble to the Constitution of India assures to all citizens, justice- social, economic and political. In a series of reformative verdicts like banning triple talaq, decriminalizing homosexuality – Section 377, striking down section 497 of IPC, right to privacy under Article 21, allowing entry of women of all ages in the Sabarimala temple etc. the Supreme Court have shown the strong role it plays in social transformation.
THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY IN SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
1. ADULTERY NOT A CRIME
The 150-year old law that considered adultery to be an offence was unanimously struck down by the Supreme Court ending the material treatment of women.
The adultery law defined under Section 497 of the IPC came under sharp criticism for treating women as possessions rather than human beings.
2. DECRIMINALISATION OF SECTION 377
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Dipak Misra partly struck down Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) holding it violative of the fundamental right to privacy.
However, the Supreme Court said that Section 377 would continue to be in force in cases of unnatural sex with animals and children.
By this the Supreme Court adopted the progressive rights jurisprudence in social issues.
3. CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AADHAAR
A five-judge bench of Supreme Court on September 26, 2018 ruled that Aadhaar was constitutional but making it mandatory for availing government services was unconstitutional and upheld the ‘Doctrine of Proportionality’ in this case.
So, while Aadhaar-PAN linking is mandatory, banks and telecom companies cannot ask people to link their bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar and was unconstitutional.
4. LIFTING BAN ON ENTRY OF WOMEN TO SABARIMALA TEMPLE
Saying that “Devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination”, the Supreme Court removed a ban that prevented women between 10 and 50 years of age from entering Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.
The bench dissented saying that courts shouldn’t determine which religious practices should be struck down or not.
5. RESERVATION QUOTAS FOR JOB PROMOTIONS
The Supreme Court has made it easier to grant caste-based reservations to members of the Dalit community and Adivasis during job promotions.
But has also kept a check on advanced SCs and STs to reap reservation benefits by extending the ‘creamy layer’ exclusion to those promotions.
The role of deepening democracy and mission of advancing the social freedoms has been successfully forwarded by the judiciary. The Judiciary has actively played its role to transform the society and delivering social democracy to people.