Aadhaar Verdict: Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act
The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on September 26, 2018 upheld most of the provisions of the Aadhaar Act by 4:1 Majority while hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other. Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
Of the five-judges, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Ashok Bhushan validated the provisions of the Aadhaar with few restrictions, while Justice D.Y. Chandrachud held that the entire Aadhar project is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court on September 27, 2018 declined to refer the 1994 Ismail Farooqui judgment that mosques are not integral to Islam to a larger constitution bench.
In the majority verdict, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the present case on Ayodhya land dispute shall be decided on its own facts and the Ismail Farooqui judgment would have no impact on it.
Justice Ashok Bhushan, who read out the majority judgement on behalf of himself and the CJI, said that the court has to find out the context in which the five-judge had delivered the 1994 judgement.
Husband is not the master of wife, says SC while striking down 158-year-old adultery law
The Supreme Court of India on September 27, 2018 struck down a 158-year-old penal provision in the Indian Penal Code that made adultery a criminal offence.
The decision was taken by a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. The bench unanimously held Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with the offence of adultery, as unconstitutional and arbitrary.
The top court said that adultery can be a civil wrong and a ground for divorce but it cannot be a criminal offence. The court said Section 497 is violative of right to equality and right to equal opportunity to women and disallows them from making their own choices.
Sabarimala temple verdict: Supreme Court allows entry of women of all ages
The Supreme Court of India on September 28, 2018 allowed the entry of women into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala. The apex court held that women, irrespective of their age, have the right to enter the temple. The CJI held that biological or physiological reasons cannot be accepted in freedom for faith.
The five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court comprising CJI Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra struck down Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 by a 4:1 majority.
Supreme Court allows live streaming of court proceedings
The Supreme Court of India on September 26, 2018 allowed live streaming and video recording of court proceedings across the country. The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked the government to frame rules in this regard under Article 145 of the Constitution.
The top court stated that live streaming of court proceedings will bring accountability and transparency into the judicial system and serve the public interest. The bench said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant, let people get first-hand information about what is going on in courtroom proceedings.”
PM Modi launches Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018 launched the flagship scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana' (PMJAY), also known as Ayushman Bharat or the National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).
Ayushman Bharat, the government-sponsored health insurance scheme, will provide free coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year in any government or even empanelled private hospitals all over India. Launched with an aim to help the poor and the economically deprived, the scheme will be available for 10.74 crore beneficiary families and about 50 crore Indian citizens.
Political candidates cannot be disqualified on basis of criminal charges: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court ruled on September 25, 2018 that candidates cannot be disqualified from contesting elections merely because charges have been framed against them in a criminal case.
The ruling was delivered by a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court, which was chaired by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprised Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
The bench also directed the legislature to consider framing a law to ensure decriminalisation of politics.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on September 26, 2018 awarded with the prestigious UN Champions of the Earth Award 2018, the highest environmental honour of the United Nations.
The UN Environment jointly awarded PM Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in the Policy Leadership category for their efforts regarding the creation of the International Solar Alliance.
PM Modi was also acknowledged for his unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single use plastic in India by 2022. This year, the Champions of the Earth Award recognised six of the world’s most outstanding environmental change makers for their combination of bold, innovative, and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most urgent environmental issues.
Finance Minister launches Financial Inclusion Index, Jan Dhan Darshak app
The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley launched the Financial Inclusion Index (FII) in New Delhi on September 24, 2018. The index was launched after the Finance Minister’s annual performance review meeting with the CEOs of public sector banks.
The annual index will be released by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance by the end of this year and it would rate states on their performance on last-mile banking services availability.
Village Rockstars is India’s official entry to Oscars 2019
Village Rockstars, an Assamese language feature film by National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das, was on September 22, 2018 selected as India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2019 Academy (Oscar) Awards.
Village Rockstars tells the story of 10-year-old Dhunu, a young girl from a remote village in Assam, who dreams of owning a guitar and forming a rock band despite the awful financial situation at home. The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2017.
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