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Ram Janambhoomi and female genital mutilation among key cases to be heard by CJI before retirement

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Chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, who will retire on 2nd October, heads for a power packed week as he is expected to hear several important cases and is likely to pronounce important judgments during his last week which began on September 24.

A slew of judgements on various important issues varying from the Ayodhya dispute to the validity of Aadhar to female genital mutilation awaits judgement with effectively just five working days left for Dipak Misra to leave office.

With no judgments delivered on Monday, he is effectively left with five days, not counting the fact that the last day of Justice Misra as Chief Justice is a holiday.

Here are few of the cases which are likely to be taken up by Dipak Misra before he hands over his responsibilities to the incoming CJI, justice Ranjan Gogoi.

MLAs, MPs with Criminal Cases to Contest Elections:

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI Misra, today held that candidates cannot be disqualified from contesting elections merely because charges have been framed against them in a criminal case.

However, the SC stated that the voters have the right to be informed about the criminal antecedents of their candidates, therefore, keeping this in view SC directed that each candidate shall declare his/her criminal antecedents to the Election Commission before contesting an election. It furthered that the onus lies on the Parliament to make relevant laws to prevent people with serious criminal cases pending against them from entering the legislature.

Ayodhya case:

The Ayodhya matter is limited to the question whether a challenge to 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment would be heard by a three-judge bench or a larger bench. Rejecting all intervening petitions the bench had reserved its order in the plea on 20th July, which was filed by a group of Muslim groups who sought to refer the 1994 constitution bench’s judgment to a larger bench.

The validity of Aadhar:

In one of the longest hearings in the annals of the Supreme Court which lasted for 38 days, the first bench reserved verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhar law, 2016 where the top court is expected to pass a judgment on whether or not the government can continue making Aadhaar, which is driven by personal biometric data, a mandatory identification document in its welfare schemes.

Sabarimala women entry case:

The court which has already orally observed that a ban on entry for women at Sabarimala temple is steeped in patriarchy and chauvinism it is to be seen whether a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Misra would lift the centuries-old prohibition on women aged between 10 and 51 to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

The validity of Adultery Law:

The court headed by Dipak Misra, before his retirement, is expected to deliver a judgement decriminalising adultery, which under section 497 of the IPC is currently a criminal act.

Female genital mutilation:

Hearing on a PIL filed by petitioner Sunita Tiwari, with the support of several gynaecologists and women organisations, the Supreme Court had in July 2018 slammed the practice of Female Genital Mutilation practised by the Dawoodi Bohra community in India.

Now the legal validity of Female genital mutilation will be decided upon before the 2nd of October.

Activist’s arrest:

The Supreme Court today extended the house arrest of the five ‘Urban Naxals’ till September 19, who were arrested in connection with the plot to kill the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bhima Koregaon violence. The apex court had reserved its order on a plea filed by Romila Thapar and four others on the same day challenging the arrest. Now the Supreme court is expected to deliver its verdict in connection with the arrest.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s re-election to the Rajya Sabha:

The apex court had reserved its verdict on 18th September in the case which sought to disqualify Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. The plea contested that Patel had secured his seat through corrupt means after he lodged 44 MLAs from his party in a Bengaluru resort to avoid poaching by the BJP.

Live streaming of court proceedings:

The court is also considering allowing live streaming of court proceedings. On August 24, the bench reserved orders on this plea.

With so many hearings and likely judgements to happen within such a small time-frame, the Supreme court is surely headed towards a hectic week ahead.

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