About Fundamental Rights
Author: Saloni Ratra, Amity Law School, Dehradun.
Fundamental rights are a group of rights
that have been recognized by the Supreme Court Of India as requiring a high
degree of protection from government encroachment. These rights are
specifically identified in the Constitution(i.e. in the Bill of Rights) or have
been found under Due Process.
Fundamental rights, the basic civil
liberties of the people, are
protected under the charter
of rights contained in Part III
(Article 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India.
rights apply universally to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth,
religion, caste or gender. The Indian
Penal Code and other laws prescribe punishments for the
violation of these rights, subject to the discretion of the judiciary. Though the rights conferred by the constitution other than
fundamental rights are also valid rights protected by the judiciary, in case of
fundamental rights violations, the Supreme Court of India can be approached
directly for ultimate justice per Article 32.
Landmark Judgment Of
Supreme Court (2017-2019)
a. Right to Privacy a fundamental right.
A long debate occurred on this issue whether the right to privacy
is a fundamental right or not. The supreme court held that the right to privacy
was protected under article 21 of the constitution of India. In a certain
decision, the constitutional bench overruled the judgment, which constitutes a
bench of nine judges in the famous cases of MP Sharma and Kharak Singh.
b. Triple Talaq Unconstitutional
In the landmark judgment of the supreme court of India by the
constitutional bench of 5 judges declared that the practice of triple talaq is
unconstitutional by 3:2 majority. Justice Nariman and Lalit held that it was
unconstitutional and violative of Article 14(right to equality).
c. Sex with Minor Wife is a Rape
The constitutional bench compromises of 2 judges of supreme court
held that sex with a minor wife which is below the age of 18 is regarded as
rape. justice Deepak Gupta clearly stated as section 198(6) will be treated as
the section for rape for wives.
d. Seeking votes in the name of caste/religion is a
A seven-judge constitutional bench comprising of chief judge
T.S.Thakur passed the judgment by 4:3 majority that seeking votes in the name
of caste or religion or community amounts to corrupt practices and the
candidate who indulges in it can be set aside.
e. Death for Nirbhaya convicts
Supreme court of India upheld the death penalty for the convicts of the nirbhaya rape and murder case. In a voluminous judgment of 430 pages, the bench opined that the attitude of the offenders amounted to” bestial proclivity” and that the incident “sounds like a story from a different world where humanity is treated with irreverence.”
f. Directives To Prevent Misuse of Section 498A of
The supreme court issued a new set of directions to prevent the misuse of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. A bench compromising of two judges Justice AK Goel and UU Lalit observed that Section 498A was inserted in the statute with the laudable object of punishing cruelty at the hands of a husband or his relatives against a wife particularly when such cruelty had potential to result in suicide or murder of a woman.
g. Lifting ban on the entry of women (aged 10-50)inside
The supreme court removed a ban that prevented women from the age
of 10-50 to enter into the Kerala”s Sabarimala temple. Chief Justice
Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Dhananjaya
Y Chandrachund concurred with each other while Indu Malhotra dissented saying
that courts shouldn’t determine which religious practices should be struck down
h. Section 377 stuck down partially
The supreme court in a landmark judgment
decriminalized gay sex holding that consensual sex between two adults was
covered under the right to privacy. a bench compromising of 5 judges of the
supreme court of India partly struck down section 377 pf Indian Penal Code. Any
kind of sexual activity with animals and children remains a penal offence.
i. Adultery not a crime
The supreme court stuck down 150 years old law that adultery to be an offence, defined under section 497 of IPC. The supreme court declared Section 497 as unconstitutional .and adultery to be no longer as a crime.
These all are the landmark judgments of 2017-19
upon fundamental rights protected by the supreme court of India.