You are on page 1of 14

1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important

Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

22 DEC 2018 12:16 PM

16.6K Facebook Twitter WhatsApp LinkedIn More


The Year 2018 is about to end soon and it is time for a flashback into important
happenings in the legal universe.

The year 2018 saw two CJIs- Former CJI Dipak Misra and the Current CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
The constitution benches headed by Justice Misra, during his last month as CJI, delivered
most of the significant judgments of this year- Sabarimala, Aadhaar, Homosexuality,
Adultery, etc. The year ended with Rafale judgment by CJI Gogoi headed bench, which
generated diverse responses in political circles. 1/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

Two provisions which criminalized Homosexuality and Adultery vanished from the penal
statutes, when the Apex court ruled that both these acts are no longer criminal. The
Supreme Court also recognised that to die with dignity is Fundamental Right by
legalizing passive euthanasia. It also upheld Aadhaar program, though with riders.   
Dissents penned by Justice Chandrachud in Aadhaar and Bhima Koregaon cases, and that
of Justice Indu Malhotra in Sabarimala case, got widely debated.

It also turned to be a good year for Indian women. The Supreme Court allowed young
women to enter Sabarimala, where they were not permitted for many centuries, in the
name of custom and tradition. Justice Indu Malhotra became the first woman Judge to be
elevated to Supreme Court directly from the Bar. It also witnessed the rarity of an all-
women bench as Justice R Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee sat in Court No.12 on
September 5 and 6.

In the coming year, we might be able to witness the Supreme Court proceedings without
actually going there, as a petition seeking live streaming of court proceedings was allowed
by the Apex Court.

Here is the List of 35 important Judgments delivered by the Supreme Court in 2018.


Devotion Cannot Be Subjected To Gender Discrimination, Women Entry Allowed In

Sabarimala By 4:1 Majority; Lone Woman In The Bench Dissents

[Indian Young Lawyer’s Association & Ors. V. State of Kerala & Ors.]

The Supreme Court delivered one of the most keenly awaited judgment in Sabarimala
case. by a 4:1 majority, the Court has permitted entry of women of all age groups to the
Sabarimala temple, holding that ‘devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination’.
The lone woman in the bench, Justice Indu Malhotra, dissented.


157-Year-Old Law Criminalizing Consensual Homo-Sexual Acts Between Adults Struck

Down; Section 377 IPC Held Unconstitutional To That Extent

 [Navtej Singh Johar& Ors. V. Union of India] 2/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

In a landmark Judgment Supreme Court of India struck down 157 year old law which
criminalizes consensual homo sexual acts between adults. The Five Judge Bench declared
Section 377 IPC unconstitutional, insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of
adults in private.


Sections 33(2),47& 57 Of Aadhaar Act Struck Down; National Security Exception Gone;
Private Entities Cannot Demand Aadhaar Data

[Justice K. S. Puttuswamy (Retd.) and Anr V Union of India & Ors.]

The judgment authored by Justice AK Sikri, which has concurrence of Chief Justice Dipak
Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, read down some of the provisions of the Aadhaar
(Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016,
struck down a few but significant ones (mainly Section 33(2), 47 and 57), and upheld the


‘Husband Is Not The Master Of Wife’, 158 Year Old Adultery Law Under Section 497 IPC
Struck Down

[Joseph Shine V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court struck down 158 year old Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which
criminalizes adultery, as unconstitutional. The Court however clarified that adultery will
be a ground for divorce. It was also stated that if an act of adultery leads the aggrieved
spouse to suicide, the adulterous partner could be prosecuted for abetment of suicide
under Section 306 of the IPC.


Right To Die With Dignity A Fundamental Right, Passive Euthanasia And Living Will
Allowed, Guidelines Issued

[Common Cause (A Regd. Society) V. Union of India & Anr] 3/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

Supreme Court of India held that right to die with dignity is a fundamental right. The
Bench also held that passive euthanasia and a living will also legally valid. The Court
issued detailed guidelines in this regard. The Bench also held that the right to live with
dignity also includes the smoothening of the process of dying in case of a terminally ill
patient or a person in Persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.


No Need To Collect Quantifiable Data Of Backwardness To Give Reservation In

Promotions For SC/STs- Nagraj Decision Clarified; Reference To Larger Bench Declined

[Jarnail Singh v LachhmiNarain Gupta& Ors.]

A Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that the 2006 Judgment in
Nagraj Case, relating to reservations for SC/ST in promotions, need not be referred for
consideration of larger Bench.However, the judgment by Justice Nariman clarified that
there is no requirement to collect quantifiable data of backwardness of SC/STs to provide
reservation in promotions. The dictum in Nagraj was held contrary to Indira Sawhney
decision to the extent it prescribed collection of quantifiable data of backwardness as a
prerequisite for providing reservation in promotions.


SC Modifies The Earlier Directions Issued To Prevent Misuse Of 498A IPC, Says No To
‘Welfare Committees’

[Social Action Forum For Manav Adhikar  V. Union of India]

Supreme Court of India has modified its directions issued in  Rajesh Sharma case for
preventing misuse of Section 498A of Indian Penal Code. A three judges’ bench led by CJI
has withdrawn the earlier direction issued by a two judges bench that complaints under
Section 498A IPC should be scrutinised by Family Welfare Committees before further
legal action by police.


‘Right To Change Of Faith Is Part Of Fundamental Right Of Choice’: 4/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

[Shafin Jahan V. Ashokan K. M. & Ors]

The Supreme Court set aside the Kerala High Court judgment annulling the marriage
between Hadiya and Shafin Jahan. The Apex Court quashed the High Court judgment in
view of Hadiya’s statement during her personal appearance before the Court in
November, 2017, and opined that the High Court could not have annulled the marriage
under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. It, however, directed the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) to continue with its investigation. Later, it gave detailed
reasons for setting aside the High Court judgment.


Observations In Ismail Faruqui Need To Be Viewed In Context Of Land Acquisition

Proceedings; Not Relevant In Ayodhya Title Dispute

[M. Siddiq (D) THR LRS..Mahant Suresh Das & Ors.]

The Supreme Court by a 2:1 majority, refused to refer the Ayodhya-Ram Janmabhoomi
land dispute case to a larger bench. While the majority judgment was authored by Justice
Ashok Bhushan, for himself and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice S. Abdul
Nazeer delivered the dissenting opinion. The majority judgment clarified that the
observations made in the Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui and Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors.
judgment, that mosque was not an integral part of Islam, have to be understood in the
context of land acquisition proceedings.


Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant: Live-Streaming Of Court Proceedings In Larger Public

Interest Allowed

[Swapnil Tripathi V. Supreme Court of India]

Supreme Court of India held that the Court proceedings shall be live-streamed in the
larger public interest. The Bench has said that appropriate Rules in that regard will be
framed soon under Article 145 of the Constitution of India.

 RAFALE 5/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

Petitions Seeking Probe In To Rafale Deal Dismissed

[Manohar Lal Sharma V. Narendra Damodar Das Modi & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a string of petitions seeking an independent

probe into the 2015 Rafale deal, according it a clean chit in all respects- decision-making,
pricing and procurement procedure. Stating that individual perception cannot influence
the court into intervening, the bench clarified that the limits of judicial review in respect
of defence procurements have to be determined upon a consideration of the individual
facts and circumstances.


Horrendous Acts Of Mobocracy Can’t Be Allowed Become New Norm: Lynching

Incidents Condemned; Directions Issued

[Tehseen S. Poonawalla V. Union of India & Ors.]

In a landmark judgment Supreme Court of India condemned the lynching incidents

across the country. The Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the horrendous
acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become a new norm in the Country.


Complete Ban On Sale Of Firecrackers Refused; Online Sale Banned; Duration For
Bursting Crackers Fixed

[Arjun Gopal & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court ruled against imposing complete ban on firecrackers but has said
that only less polluting green crackers can be sold, that too only through licensed traders.
The Court has banned online sale of firecrackers, restraining e-commerce websites from
carrying out its sale. The Court also fixed duration for bursting of crackers.


Victim Can File Appeal Against Acquittal Without Seeking Leave To Appeal: SC, Justice
Gupta Dissents 6/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

[Mallikarjun Kodagali (Dead) ... vs The State Of Karnataka]

In a landmark judgment, A three Judge Bench comprising  Justice Madan B. Lokur ,Justice
S. Abdul Nazeer and Dipak Gupta held that a victim can file an appeal in the High Court
against the acquittal without seeking leave to appeal.


Rs 50 Lakh Compensation Granted To Former ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan,

Committee Headed By Justice DK Jain To Inquire In To The Role Of Kerala Police

[S. Nambi Narayanan V. Siby Mathews &Ors.]

Supreme Court of India granted Rupees 50Lakh compensation to former ISRO Scientist
Nambi Narayanan. The Court has also constituted a committee headed by former
Supreme Court Judge Justice DK Jain to inquire in to the role of police officers in the
conspiracy against him. The three Judge Bench has pronounced the Judgment in his
petition for action against former top officials of Kerala Police who had allegedly
subjected him to torture and illegal detention in connection with the infamous ISRO
Espionage Case.


Petitions Seeking Probe Into The Death Of Judge Loya Dismissed

[TehseenPoonawalla V. Union of India & Anr.]

Supreme Court of India dismissed the petitions seeking independent probe into Judge
Loya’s death. The Three-Judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice D. Y.
Chandrachud and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, was pronouncing the verdict in the string of
writ petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of CBI special judge B. H.


LG cannot interfere in each and every decision of the Delhi Government

[Govt. of NCT of Delhi V. Union of India & Anr.] 7/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

In a significant judgment, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that the
Lieutenant-General of the Delhi had to act as per the aid and advise of the Council of
Ministers of Delhi Government except in matters of land, police and public order. It held
that the LG cannot interfere in each and every decision of the Delhi Government.
Although decisions of the Government have to be communicated to the LG, there is no
need to obtain the concurrence of LG in all matters. The Court also held that Delhi was
not a ‘State’, and occupied a special status under the Constitution.


Stay In Civil/Criminal Proceedings Not To Be Granted Beyond Six Months; Further

Extension Only By Speaking Order

[Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd.& Anr. VS. Central Bureau of Investigation]

In a very significant judgment, the Supreme Court directed that in all pending cases
where stay against proceedings of a civil or criminal trial is operating, the same will come
to an end on expiry of six months from today unless in an exceptional case by a speaking
order such stay is extended. The Three-Judge Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar
Goel also held that where stay is granted in future, the same will end on the expiry of six
months from the date of such order unless a similar extension is granted by a speaking


Constitutional Validity Of Goods And Services Tax (Compensation To States) Act, 2017

[Union of India & Anr. V. Mohit Mineral Pvt. Ltd.]

The Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of Goods And Services Tax
(Compensation To States) Act, 2017, as well as the Goods and Services Tax Compensation
Cess Rules, 2017, as framed under the Act. The verdict was delivered by a Bench
comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

SC Issues Directions To Prevent Misuse Of SC/ST Act, Govt.Servants Can’t Be Arrested

Without Prior Sanction

[Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan V. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]

Supreme Court of India issued directions to prevent the misuse of provisions of

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 (SC/ST
Act). A Two Judge Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit was examining the question
whether there can be procedural safeguards so that provisions of Scheduled Castes and
the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) (SC/ST) Act 1989 are not abused for
extraneous considerations.


Can’t Restrict MPs And MLAs From Practicing Law

[Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay V. Union of India & Anr.]

Supreme Court dismissed the petition seeking a declaration that a person cannot be
permitted to perform the dual role of a lawyer and a legislator (MP/MLA). The three-
Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and
Justice DY Chandrachud was pronouncing the Judgment on a petition filed by BJP leader
and Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.


Candidates Cannot Be Disqualified On Framing Of Charges In Criminal Case

[Public Interest Foundation & Ors. V. Union of India & Anr.]

The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that candidates cannot be
disqualified merely because  charges have been framed against them in a criminal case.
The bench urged the legislature to consider framing law to ensure decriminalisation of
politics.The judgment came on petitions filed by BJP Leader AshwiniUpdhyaya, former
CEC JM Lyngdoh& NGO, Public Interest Foundation by a bench comprising Chief Justice
of India Dipak Misra, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY
Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra. 9/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018


CJI Is The Master Of Roster: Shanti Bhushan’s Petition Dismissed

[Shanti Bhushan V. Supreme Court of India]

Dismissing the petition filed by Senior Advocate Santhi Bhushan seeking regulation of
powers of the CJI in constituting benches and allocating cases, the Supreme Court
asserted that CJI was the ‘Master of the Roster’.


Accused Entitled To Acquittal If Informant And Investigating Officer Is The Same


[Mohan Lal V. State of Punjab]

In a significant pronouncement, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court categorically

held that the informant and the investigator in NDPS cases must not be the same person.


The Trial Of Kathua Rape And Murder Case Transferred To Pathankot Sessions Court,

[Mohd. Akhtar V. State of Jammu & Kashmir]

Supreme Court of India transferred the trial of rape and murder of a 8-year-old girl in
Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir to District and Sessions Court, Pathankot in


Ex-CMs Not Entitled To Govt Bungalows

 [Lok Prahari V. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.]

Quashing an amendment made in a Uttar Pradesh state law to permit former Chief
Ministers to occupy government bungalows, the Supreme Court in a significant ruling
held that such a legislation is “arbitrary, discriminatory and unsupported by the 10/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

Constitution”. The SC thereby struck down Section 4(3) of UP Ministers (Salaries,

Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. The judgment meant that such laws
passed by all states remain scrapped and no former Chief Ministers in India is entitled to
government accommodation.


Not A Case Of Arrest For Dissent, Plea For SIT In BhimaKoregaon Case Turned Down
By 2:1 Majority, Chandrachud.J Dissents

[Romila Thapar& Ors. Vs Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Friday, in a majority judgment authored by Justice A. M.

Khanwilkar on behalf of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and himself, declined the prayer for a
SIT probe into the Bhima-Koregaon violence and the chain of events leading to it. The
judgment was rendered on a PIL filed by historian RomilaThapar and four other eminent
persons challenging the alleged-unlawful arrest on August 28 of five activists, namely,
Gautam Navalakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, P. Varavara Rao and Advocate
Sudha Bharadwaj. Subsequently, four of these accused have also filed a supplementary
affidavit seeking impleadment before the apex court.


Foreign Law Firms Can’t Set Up Office In India: Foreign Lawyers Can Advice Clients On
‘Fly in And Fly Out’ Basis

[Bar Council of India V. A. K. Balaji& Ors.]

Supreme Court of India held that foreign law firms cannot set up offices in India or
practice in Indian Courts. But they can give advice to Indian clients on ‘fly in and fly out’
mode in temporary basis. The Bench also directed the Centre and BCI to frame rules. The
Supreme Court bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice UU Lalit was delivering
the Judgment in the foreign law firms case.


Benefit of Ambiguity In Tax Exemption Notification Should Go In Favour Of Revenue

Department 11/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

[Commissioner of Customs (Import), Mumbai vs. M/s. Dilip Kumar and Company]

In an important judgment in the realm of taxation laws the Constitution bench of the
Supreme Court ruled that exemption notifications should be interpreted strictly and that
the burden of proving applicability would be on the assessee to show that his case comes
within the parameters of the exemption clause or exemption notification.


Accused Is Entitled To Default Bail Even If Charge Sheet Returned Due To Technical
Reason, No Court Can Extend Remand Period U/S 167(2) Beyond 90 Days

[Achpal @ Ramswaroop& Anr. V. State of Rajasthan]

A two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday held that an accused is entitled to
default bail under Section 167(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure even if the charge sheet
filed by police was returned by the Magistrate for technical reasons. The Court also held
that the provisions of the Code do not empower anyone to extend the period within
which the investigation must be completed nor does it admit of any such eventuality.


SC Directs Appointment Of Professionally Qualified Court Managers In All Principal

District And Sessions Courts For Better Court Administration

[All India Judges Association & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.]

Lamenting how judicial infrastructure has been given relatively low importance with
infrastructure in courts in interior parts of the country being on ventilator, the Supreme
Court underlined some vital features which have to provide in all court complexes across
India including court managers with MBA degree for ensuring efficient court
administration in every judicial district.


SLP Against Death Sentence Shall Not Be Dismissed Without Giving Reasons

[BabasahebMarutiKamble V. State of Maharashtra] 12/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

The Supreme Court held that Special Leave Petitions filed in those cases where death
sentence is awarded by the courts below, should not be dismissed without giving reasons,
at least qua death sentence.The three judge bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice
Ashok Bhushan and Justice Indira Banerjee has recently recalled two such orders in two
different cases in which it had dismissed SLPs filed by the accused against imposition of
death penalty.


Persons With Low Vision Can’t Be Denied Reservation In Admission To MBBS Course

[PurswaniAshutosh V. Unionof India & Ors.]

In a decision with wide ramifications, the Supreme Court bench upheld the claim of a
medical aspirant with “low vision” to be admitted in MBBS course in the category of
persons with benchmark disability while holding that provisions of the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities Act, 2016 which consider low visibility as a benchmark disability are
binding on the Medical Council of India.


Directions Issued On Examination Of Witnesses In Criminal Trial

[State of Kerala V. Rasheed]

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, listed out ‘practical guidelines’ to be followed by trial
courts in the conduct of a criminal trial, ‘as far as possible’. While setting aside a Kerala
High court order, the bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu
Malhotra observed that while deciding an Application to defer cross examination under
Section 231(2) of the Cr.P.C. a balance must be struck between the rights of the accused,
and the prerogative of the prosecution to lead evidence.


The State of Karnataka Directed to release 177.25 TMC of water, instead of the 192 TMC,
to the state of Tamil Nadu 13/14
1/24/2019 The Good And Bad : Read 35 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2018

[State of Karnataka vs. State of Tamil Nadu]

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice, in its judgement on the Cauvery Water
Dispute between the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the UT of
Puducherry, partially allowing the appeal preferred by the state of Karnataka in 2007
against the order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. The bench directed the state of
Karnataka to release 177.25 TMC of water, instead of the 192 TMC, to the state of Tamil

Topics : Aadhaar | Adultery | AMBIGUITY TAX EXEMPTION | Ayodhya |

Bhima Koregaon | Default bail | Disqualification Of Candidates | Euthanasia
| firecrackers | foreign law firms | GST VALIDITY | Hadiya | Homosexuality
OF ROSTER CJI | MPs And MLAs From Practicing Law | Nambi Narayanan |
MISUSE | SC/ST Reservation in p 14/14