By Shaifali Agrawal:
Under the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court (SC) is the highest judicial forum and is the last resort which takes up appeals against the judgements of the High Court. The Supreme Court of India held its inaugural sitting on 28 January 1950 and since then has delivered more than 24,000 reported judgments. Let us have a look at five notable decisions of the Supreme Court.
– 2G Spectrum scam, 2011: The Supreme Court charged three companies and fourteen public officials and businessmen and said that natural resources allocated for commercial purposes should be given through auction and at market prices. The 2G Spectrum Scam involved a loss of 176,645 crore (USD 33.39 billion). All the 122 licenses issued during the 2008 during tenure of A Raja were quashed.
– Decision on Live-in Relationships, 2010: The court recognised live-in relationships, saying that pre-marital sex and live-in relationships are not an offence. It said that perceived immoral activities cannot be branded as offences. However a woman living with a man without marrying him cannot claim any maintenance (palimony).
– RTI does not apply to court judgments, 2010: The Supreme Court stated that under an RTI Act, a person is entitled to ask for opinions, orders, etc but not allowed to ask for the reasons of the same, especially during judgements of the court. A judge is not responsible to give reasons apart from those mentioned in the judgement and is free to make independent decisions.
– SC bans Lawyer Strikes, December 2002: Supreme Court said that lawyers have no right to go on a strike and the law-breaking lawyers would be liable to pay damages to those affected by the strikes.
– SC on feigned conversion to Islam and second marriage, 2000: People have religious freedom in India, but the Supreme Court makes sure that people do not feign religious conversion to Islam, which legally allows several marriages, so as to marry again while the spouse is alive. The Supreme Court declared that if a person converts to Islam during the life time of his spouse, the second marriage is considered void and the person is prosecuted for bigamy, while the first marriage subsists.