Justice Ranjan Gogoi was sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India (CJI) on October 3, 2018. He succeeds CJI Dipak Misra who retired.President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath.
Procedure for Appointment of CJI
CJI Misra had recommended the name of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his successor, as per the established practice of naming the senior-most judge after the CJI for the post.
According to the Memorandum of Procedure, which governs the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office.
The procedure stipulates that the law minister will, at an appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing chief justice of India for the appointment of a successor. Under this process, after receiving the CJI's recommendation, the law minister puts it before the prime minister who advises the president on the matter.
Section 377 verdict: Supreme Court legalises homosexuality, partially strikes down Section 377
A Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has decriminalised the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by partially striking down some of its provisions. The Supreme Court scrapped parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the 1862 law which criminalised homosexuality. The Delhi High Court had decriminalised homosexuality in 2009, but the decision was overturned by Supreme Court in 2013.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra; Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra ruled that Section 377, to the extent it criminalises sexual acts between consenting adults, whether homosexual or hetrosexual, is unconstitutional.
However, bestiality will continue as an offence. Any kind of sexual activity with animals shall remain penal offence under Section 377 of the IPC.
Husband is not master of wife: Supreme Court on adultery law
The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, while reading out Supreme Court's verdict scrapping the 150-year-old law which criminalised adultery, said, "Equality is the governing principle of a system. Husband is not the master of the wife."
He added, "Section 497 is manifestly arbitrary, offends dignity of women." He further said, "Any provision treating woman with inequality is not Constitutional."
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.
Uttarakhand HC declares fatwas as unconstitutional
The Uttarakhand High Court has declared that fatwas are unconstitutional and illegal. The high court banned all the religious bodies and statutory panchayats in the state from issuing fatwas.
- The ruling came, as the court declared illegal a fatwa banishing the family of a rape victim from their village.
- The issuance of a fatwa infringes upon the statutory rights, fundamental rights, dignity, status, honour and obligation of individuals.
India has only 19 judges per 10 lakh people: Law Ministry
The Union Law Ministry had prepared a document in March 2018, as per which India has 19 judges per 10 lakh people on an average.The document reveals that while the subordinate courts have a shortage of 5748 judicial officers, the 24 high courts have a total of 406 vacancies.
Ayodhya land dispute: SC declines to revisit its 1994 judgment and refer it to larger bench
The Supreme Court on September has 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.
Babri Masjid demolition case: Supreme Court seeks report from trial judge of Lucknow court
The Supreme Court has sought a report from a sessions judge in a Lucknow court on how he intends to complete the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case within the April 2019 deadline.
The court asked for the report from the judge in a sealed cover.
A Bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and Indu Malhotra also sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s response on a plea of trial court judge SK Yadav, whose promotion was stayed by the Allahabad High Court on the ground that he has been mandated by the Supreme Court to complete the trial.