Cases That Changed Indian Laws |

Cases That Changed Indian Laws

Sometimes there come cases which changed the course Indian of Indian laws. Sometimes a new law is made and the other time’s old laws are amended so that they cannot be exploited more. Here, are talking about the cases which changed Indian laws forever.

  1. Rajagopal vs state of Tamil Nadu:In 1994, a prisoner had been convicted of murder and wrote and biography. He asked the weekly magazine in Madras to publish it and they decided to go ahead with it. The autobiography had details of the murder and the fact that many senior officials were also involved in it. The officials obviously scared and claimed the story to be false. They sued the publication for libel and defamation but the Supreme Court rolled the dice in the favor of media houses. Stated that, “ Public officials can only sue publishing houses if the published material was untrue.”This judgment for Rajgopal vs State of Tamil Nadu upheld theFreedom of Expression and Right to Privacy.
  1. Vishakha and others vs the State of Rajasthan: In 1992, Bhanwari Devi, a social worker was gang-raped in a village in Rajasthan only because she tried to discourage a family’s efforts to wed their 1-year-old daughter.She filed a case and received a lot of support from NGO’s. Although their efforts didn’t help her cause directly they did help women all over the country. It led Supreme court to declare a prime verdict that helped protect women from sexual harassment at their workplace which by extension also established gender equality. Before 1997, there were no guidelines to deal with such cases at the workplace. As of April 2013, The sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 has been established and the Vishakha guidelines were certainly very crucial in making a new law.
  1. MATHURA: On the night of 26 March 1972 a tribal girl Mathura was called on account of her brother lodging a complaint against her boyfriend. The officers at the station raped her and then let her go. Mathura decided to file a rape case against the constables. The Supreme Court declared their decision in favor of the policemen which was low for humanity, only by assuming that it was peaceful or consensual stating that there were no signs of struggle on Mathura’s body and that she did not raise any alarm. But Mathura said that they had threatened her into submission. There was a huge public uproar and finally, the case forced an amendment in the criminal law act 1983 of Indian Penal code which stated that “ Custodial rape was a punishable offense” and the method to deal with the ‘consent’ was henceforth was included under India’s rape laws.
  1. Mary Roy vs the State of Kerala: Mary Roy, the mother of famous author Arundhati Roy decided to challenge the inheritance act when her father passed away without leaving a will. The Travancore Christian succession act, 1902 stated that if a man died without leaving a will for his daughter she would not be entitled to anything. A son would get the property. Mary Roy invoked Article 14 and fought for equality and property rights. Not just for herself but for Christian women. The Supreme Court ruled that the Indian succession act 1925 be applied to Christians in Travancore and Cochin too. The Act acknowledged her efforts and implied equal succession rights for sons and daughters making a huge win for Mary and the entire community
  1. KM Nanavati vs the State of Maharashtra: Nanavati was a naval officer. His wife Silvia had an affair with his friend Prem Ahuja. On 27th April 1959, Silvia confessed to her husband that she was in love with Ahuja but he did intend to marry her. Nanavati then dropped his wife and children off at the theatre and went to confront Prem Ahuja. He asked him if he was willing to marry Silvia and take care of the children. He refused, so Nanavati shot him dead and turned himself in the intriguing story received a lot of media coverage and the jury was said to have been influenced by it. Nanavati’s connection with the influential families was also cited as reasons for the jury to rule in his favor. The case went to Bombay High court and they overruled the decision and found Nanavati guilty and sentenced him. After that case, jury system was abolished by knowing the fact that jury can be influenced.

So, these were some cases which changed the course of Indian judicial History which enlighten us with the fact that how judiciary had played its role in changing Indian history.

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March 13, 2018

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