Law is basically a set of rules and regulations that controls the conduct of society and those who don’t follow these rules are penalized in some manner. It is a vibrant subject and also keeps changing according to the time and needs of society. Vital laws come into force every day and hence it is important as a citizen of the country to be aware of them.
From 2018 onwards there have been some huge changes in the Law that were liberating to for a specific group of population and some were amended providing relieving to a different group of society. Without further ado lets jump in and take a look at some of the recent changes which are amended in the past year:
The Supreme Court of India recently struck down the law which penalized Adultery. Section 497 of The Indian Penal Code criminalized extramarital sex where the Man who committed extramarital sex were to be punished with imprisonment of five years. The basic ground for striking down this colonial-era law was Right to Equality to women and the fact that women are still treated as the property of their husbands. The five-judge bench in their judgment said ‘Its time to say that husband is not the master of his wife”.
Under this section, there was no consideration to Women’s will or consent. Women were not to be punished under this law but the husband could sue the man who had sexual relations with their wife, even if the wife had consented to it. On the other hand, the women couldn’t prosecute her husband or those with whom their husband is having extramarital affairs.
Now that this 158-year-old law has been struck down, extramarital sex is no longer an offence, but it still remains as a valid ground for divorce.
2. LGBT Community
The Supreme Court of India recently struck down section 377 of The Indian Penal Code which penalized “Carnal Intercourse against the order of Nature”. There has been a constant debate and demand for the rights of people who belong to the LGBT community which comprises of 7-8% of the Indian population. The argument was that the language used in section 377 was violative of fundamental rights of the LGBT community.
Section 377 was created during 1860 and manifested the mindset and societal values of people back in the Victorian Era, who considered sexual activities mainly for procreation of life. But it fails to consider that Homosexuality, bisexuality and other sexual orientation are natural and expresses individualism of people.
In the previous judgement, it was contended that other sexual orientations are neither a mental defect nor a physical defect. Right after the judgment came in there was seen a huge celebration from the LGBT community for getting their fundamental rights after years of struggle.
3. The entry of Women in Temple
Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple prohibited the entry of Women in the temple of age 10-50 years. The Supreme Court of India recently lifted this ban saying ‘Devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination’. The five-judge bench gave 4:1 judgment where Justice Indu Malhotra contended that The Supreme Court shouldn’t determine which religious practice is to be struck down or not. The issues with deep religious beliefs should not be tinkered with in order to maintain a secular atmosphere in the country.
The temple worships Lord Ayyapan a “Naishtika Bramhchari” or celibate for life. Hence women of the menstruating age were prohibited from entering the temple.
Although even after the judgment on lifting this ban, there has been constant frowning by people of Kerala and especially the Priests of the Temple on the entry of women in the temple.
4. Aadharcard Compulsion
There has been a constant debate on Right to Privacy ever since Aadhar came into existence. The Supreme Court of India in a five-judge bench ruled that Aadhar is constitutional but there is no compulsion over it for availing government jobs.
The judgment ruled out that through linking Aadhar- PAN is necessary but banks and Telecom companies cannot compel people to link their bank accounts or phone numbers with Aadhar.
Hence now if one is required to open a bank account or issue a new mobile number for themselves they cannot be compelled to provide their Aadhar details for verification of identity.