A landmark judgment by the SC in Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) and others. Vs Union of India and others. (2017) The case upheld that the right to privacy was protected under Article 21 as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution. to quote from the verdict
“Dignity cannot exist without privacy. Both live within the inseparable values of life, liberty and liberty that the Constitution has recognized. Privacy is the ultimate expression of the sanctity of the individual. It is a constitutional value that spans the spectrum of fundamental rights. extends and protects the sphere of choice and self-determination for the individual.”
The judgment written by him in the Puttaswamy judgment (along with 3 other judges, Justice JS Khehar, Justice RK Agrawal and Justice S Abdul Nazeer) contained a section titled “Dissonance Note”. There were two Supreme Court judgments in this section, the first being the judgment of ADM Jabalpur vs Shivkant Shukla (1976) and the second case being Suresh Kumar Kaushal vs Naaz Foundation (2013). In Suresh Kumar Kaushal v Naaz Foundation (2013), a two-judge Supreme Court bench upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized homosexuality. DY Chandrachud’s decision overshadowed Justice Singhvi’s decision in the Kaushal case. to quote from the verdict
“The right to privacy and protection of sexual orientation is at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution … [LGBT] Rights are not so called but real rights which are based on sound constitutional principle. They are in the right to life here. They live in privacy and dignity. They constitute the essence of freedom and liberty. Sexual orientation is an essential component of identity. Equal protection seeks to protect the identity of every individual without discrimination.”
Secondly, his judgment written by him also overturned the judgment of Justice YV Chandrachud (of DY Chandrachud’s father) in ADM Jabalpur v Shivkant Shukla (1976), who had agreed with a majority that the fundamental rights of citizens during the Emergency may be suspended.
acquittal of section 377
A landmark Supreme Court judgment in Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India (2018) criminalized all consensual sex between adults, including homosexual sex. On 6 September 2018, a five-judge bench, comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, struck down the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC. Pronouncing the verdict, he stressed that the case was more than just making a provision free of crime, saying, “It is about constitutional rights and the aspiration to realize the equal existence of the LGBT community as other citizens.” “
Screening of Bhobishyotar Bhoot
In 2019, in Indibility Creative Pvt Ltd v State of West Bengal, he wrote a judgment that imposed a fine on the state of West Bengal and remedial compensation for stopping the screening of the political satire Bhobisyotar Bhoot. The SC held that the ban imposed by the West Bengal government on the film was unconstitutional, holding that the state violated the petitioners’ right to freedom of expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Justice Chandrachud wrote that “freedom of speech cannot be prevented by the fear of the crowd”.
upsc jihad case
In 2020, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Chandrachud heard a petition seeking a pre-broadcast ban on the “UPSC Jihad” program on Sudarshan TV. The bench said that Sudarshan TV is free to exercise its journalistic privileges to inquire into the funding of any organization in the public interest, but it has no right to make objectionable and hurtful remarks about the entire Muslim community. Reportedly, the show run by Suresh Chavhanke claimed that members of the Muslim community were trying to infiltrate the civil services. Justice Chandrachud observed that flames were visible in the background of a clip in the show, which showed speeches and characters in caps, beards and green T-shirts. Chandrachud said,
“The question is asked when the IAS and IPS associations don’t take action?” [AIMIM MP Asaduddin] Owaisi asked Muslims to join civil services and flames are shown in the background… there are comments like Haramkhor…. Charts are shown and there are graphical representations about the increasing number of Muslims in the civil service.”
When senior advocate Shyam Divan argued that he would strongly oppose the stay on the program citing “it was a question of freedom of speech”, Justice Chandrachud replied,
“Your client is doing damage to the country and not acknowledging that India is the melting point of diverse cultures. Your client needs to exercise his freedom with caution.”
Expansion of the concept of family
A landmark Supreme Court judgment in Deepika Singh v. Central Administrative Tribunal (2022) expanded the definition of ‘family’, saying that “Family relations may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnership or homosexual relations”. The court was hearing an appeal filed by Deepika, who worked as a nurse at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. PGIMER rejected her application for maternity leave after the birth of her first biological child, saying that she had earlier availed maternity leave to look after her husband’s children from her previous marriage. His plea for allowance was rejected by the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A two-judge SC bench of Justice Chandrachud and Justice Bopanna ruled in favor of Deepika and said,
“Family relations can take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships, or homosexual relationships. A family can be a single parent home for a variety of reasons, including the death of a spouse, separation, or divorce. Similarly, guardians and caregivers (those who traditionally play the roles of “mother” and “father” of children) may change with remarriage, adoption, or parenting. These expressions of love and families may not be distinctive, but they are similar to their traditional counterparts. as real.”
2018 abetment to suicide case
In 2018, Justice Chandrachud wrote the judgment through which Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV was granted bail. Arnab was arrested by Mumbai Police for abetting the suicide of Alibaug interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik. Justice Chandrachud said it is important to ensure that criminal law does not become a tool for selective oppression of citizens.
On 28 September 2018, the SC ruled in a 4-1 majority verdict that the practice of banning women of menstrual age in the temple violated the fundamental rights of women. Former CJI Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar, Rohinton Nariman and DY Chandrachud wrote the majority opinion, while Justice Indu Malhotra wrote the sole dissent. To quote from its judgment, “The court should bow against granting constitutional protection to a claim relating to the dignity of women as equal holders of rights and protections. Whether the Constitution permits women as grounds for exclusion from worship.” Does the fact that there is a physical characteristic of a woman – at menstruating age – entitles someone or a group to be excluded from religious worship? Excluding women is derogatory to equal citizenship.”
repeal adultery law
On 27 September 2018, a five-judge bench, comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, declared the adultery law unconstitutional in Joseph Shine v Union of India (2017). Earlier, under section 497 of the IPC, which dealt with adultery, a person who had sexual intercourse with the wife of another man without the consent or connivance of that husband, was fined or punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years. The sentence was handed down. As the law defines women as an abettor, the wife was exempted from punishment. he saw,
“The law on adultery enforces the creation of marriage where one partner is to cede his sexual autonomy to the other. Being contrary to the constitutional guarantees of liberty, dignity and equality, Section 497 is not constitutionally passed.”
Interestingly, in 1985 the then CJI YV Chandrachud (father of DY Chandrachud) along with Justices RS Pathak and AN Sen upheld the validity of Section 497.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala and AS Bopanna, ruled that all women, regardless of their marital status, enjoy the benefits of safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. was entitled to. The Supreme Court held that any distinction between a married and unmarried woman under abortion laws was “artificial and constitutionally untenable”. In the landmark judgment, Justice DY Chandrachud recognized marital rape as a crime. The SC held that “sexual assault by a man of his wife may amount to rape” and gave women the right to an abortion.
Equal role for women in the military
A landmark decision in 2020, in the Ministry of Defense v Babita Punia case, directed the government to grant permanent commission to women army officers in a landmark judgment to end gender bias. Emphasizing on the right to equality, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi said, “Men are dominant and women are primary caretakers – this deeply ingrained stereotype needs to be removed. A change in mindset is needed to bring about true equality in the army, including in command positions.
Advocate Babita Punia filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court in February 2003 seeking permanent commission at par with their male counterparts for women officers recruited through SSC in the Army. Shortly after Babita Punia, she wrote the judgment in Union of India Vs LD. Cdr Annie Nagaraja in which the court had directed to grant similar relief to women sailors in the Indian Navy.
Love Jihad: Hadiya Scandal
Shafeen Jahan v. Ashokan KM, known as the Hadiya case, is a 2017–2018 Indian Supreme Court case that upheld the validity of the marriage of Hadiya (formerly Akhila Ashokan) and Shafin Jahan, which Hadiya’s family held. was challenged. Media outlets have described the underlying controversy as an allegation of “love jihad”. In the case, Justice Chandrachud upheld Hadiya’s choice of religion and marriage partner and reiterated that an adult’s right to make a decision in marriage or religion falls within the domain of her privacy.