September 2018 was a good month for the country, with the Indian Supreme Court restoring our faith in the system passing some pretty monumental judgements.
Just when our dwindling collective trust in the country’s institutions seemed to have no end, the Supreme Court of India came to the rescue!
In the past one month, the Supreme Court has passed a number of significant & appreciable judgments. It’s as if the Supreme Court is on a roll, smashing the archaic inequitable notions in our society one at a time, with each new ruling.
Here is a quick recap of the ones that particularly standout :
Decriminalisation of Section 377 :
Consensual gay sex & homosexuality is no longer a crime in India. Besides, a lot of consensual sexual activities even between heterosexuals, that were earlier illegal under Section 377, are not considered a crime anymore.
In short, the Government no longer controls what you do in the bedroom & with whom, as long as it’s consensual.
A major win towards a more equitable country that gives equal legal recognition & rights to all its citizens regardless of their sexual orientation.
Section 497 on Adultery declared unconstitutional :
Adultery isn’t a crime anymore in India.
As per the previous law, if a wife is found cheating, the husband had the right to legally pursue the man involved in cheating. It allowed for prosecution & jail of up to 5 years to the wife’s lover.
This particular law was sexist to both men & women. Firstly, only men were liable of being legally punished under this legislation.
Secondly, the law treated women as mere properties of men. The law couldn’t be used by a woman against his cheating husband’s lover. A wife couldn’t legally pursue her cheating husband’s lover while the vice versa was allowed. This implied that a woman couldn’t have relations outside of her marriage without the permission of her husband while a man could.
Women are now allowed to enter Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala :
One of the most prominent Hindu temples of the country, it barred females (aged 10-50) from stepping on its premises as they are considered “impure” & women aged 10-50 are apparently seen as potential “seductresses” for the ruling celibate deity.
The new ruling now allows women of all ages to enter the temple.
For the first time in a long time, it feels like some institution in this country is headed towards the right direction!