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23 Jul 2019, Edition - 1470, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

5 Iconic Supreme Court judgements that have upheld the dignity of women

Indrani Thakurata

Bengaluru: The ban on instant Triple Talaq by the Supreme Court of India has restored our faith in judiciary once again. And it is these landmark judgements that pave the way for our nation, its future. We list down 5 iconic judgements that have empowered women.

Instant Triple Talaq

The recent verdict of banning the instant Triple Talaq by the Supreme Court of India has been unanimously appreciated by all, especially women. This landmark judgement not only empowers those could have been victims of such an archaic practice, but upholds the dignity of women in general. Referring to the abolition of this practice in Islamic countries, the court questioned its existence in our country. “ We welcome this decision. Hoping that the divorce rate for muslim women will come down,” says Ruksana Bano, Beautician.

Vishaka & Ors vs State Of Rajasthan & Ors on 13 August, 1997

Sexual harassment in workplaces was never given that much importance up until this verdict that saw it as a real offense. According to this verdict, all complaints of sexual harassment by any women should be directed to a committee that would impartially look into the matter. This verdict was succeeded by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. For me, the movie Inkaar starring Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh aptly depicted the layers, the complexities revolving around a sexual harassment case in workplace. This verdict helped women retain their jobs with dignity, while fighting for their right.

Lata Singh vs State Of U.P. & Another on 7 July, 2006

The verdict noted that there was no bar to inter-caste marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, and being a major, “she was free to marry anyone she likes or live with anyone she likes“ The judgment directs the administration and police authorities throughout the country to ensure that the couple (if both are major) aren’t harassed.
“This verdict holds a special significance in today’s times. This verdict stands for a secular, social, democratic state, that gives right to life and personal liberty as a fundamental right. Not only that, it empowers women to make their own choices rather than being governed by societal pressures,” explains Priyanka Mukherjee, Social Worker.

Roxann Sharma v. Arun Sharma, Civil Appeal No. 1967 OF 2015

The Supreme Court in this case declared that a fight between estranged parents, for the custody of a minor , under the age of 5 shall be allowed to remain with the mother. “This judgement not only favoured a mother, who is the natural caregiver to child under 5 years of age, but was also sensitive to a child’s need,” says Mita M, a mother who has fought custody battle with her estranged husband.

V. Tulasamma & Ors vs V. Sesha Reddi (Dead) By L. Rs on 17 March, 1977

This verdict not only dismissed the patriarchal practices that deem men more wanted and therefore as worthy heirs but also economically empowered women who are fighting for equality. The bench of esteemed lawyers held that Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 must be liberally construed in favour of the females so as to advance the object of the Act. This section gives women the full right to property. “ Judgements like these are futuristic. They question malpractices and put an end to it,” says Gina Dutta, a Lawyer.

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