Landmark judgements of 2018

Last Updated at: Oct 06, 2020
10 landmark judgements of 2018
September 6, 2020, marked the second anniversary of the landmark judgement by the Supreme Court of India to abolish Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Two years after this draconian article git struck down, relevant amendments are yet to be done in terms of surrogacy laws and inheritance laws. 


These judgments were also given some business’ appreciation and other segment’s critique. It is our responsibility to disregard the bad factors and focus on the optimistic hand.


Supreme Court finally put an end to the decades-old Ayodhya Land dispute by handing over the possession to the deity Ram Lalla, one of the three litigants in the case. SC also directed to handover 5 acres of alternative land space to Sunni Waqf board at a prominent place for building the mosque.



We are nearing the end of the year 2018 and no doubt it had turned out to be a revolutionary one for the Indian judiciary. The year marked the birth of various historic judgments that the SC delivered with Dipak Misra as the Chief Justice. The landmark judgments made two main disputed laws to be repealed; made people to view the live happenings of the SC; decided on the reservation for the Backward Classes; made transparent to the public about their voter’s criminal record; decided on the issue that was prolonged for almost a century and furthermore discussed the validity and curtailed the limits of the “Commoner’s identity card”.

Decriminalization of Sec.377 and Sec.497 of IPC

 Adultery and homosexuality no longer a crime

In Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India case which was heard on September 2018, it was held by the Supreme Court that Sec.377 which punishes for the Buggery acts committed by an individual was made unconstitutional only to the extent of homosexuality and the sex with minors and non-consensual sex is still a crime. The reason for permitting homosexuality was that Sec.377 has barred the consensual sex in the process, hence any consensual sex between homosexuals is hereby not a crime anymore according to this judgment.

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On 27th September 2018, a Five judge Supreme Court bench was held Sec.497 which punishes male members for committing Adultery to a pre-wedded wife of another to be unconstitutional, as it is a one-sided law which tends to have a partiality towards women. This judgment upturned three previous judgements and held that Adultery is no longer a crime but it can still be claimed as a ground for Divorce. Thus apart from being a ground for Divorce no man can be punished for the commission of adultery.

Reservation for the backward classes

Yet another judgment where the Supreme Court turned out the appeal to reconsider the grant of Reservation for the Backward Classes, especially the SC’s and the ST’s under Art.16(4A) and Art.16(4B). SC clearly held that the reservation for government jobs will not be turned down and also that the State Government can use the above Articles to grant reservation in their respective states. Also, the income bar which is also called as the creamy layer was increased for all competitive exams and employment. Thus, this year under Chief Justice Dipak Misra it was clearly held that reservations or promotions will not be declined for the SCs and STs.

Bhima-Koregaon judgement

The verdict takes us back to 6th June of this year where prominent people including Sudhir Dhawale were arrested as suspects for being a part of a caste violence in Sanaswadi. The SC after extending the House Arrest of these people finally on 28th September held that there will be no interference by the  Supreme Court regarding their arrest and also declined appointment of a SIT for the purpose.

Aadhar validity case

There was a great dispute as to the validity and mandatory linking of Aadhar and concerns relating to its safety after a hacker leaked the Aadhar card of prominent people. Thus, this has developed a hesitation over people about linking them for Bank Account and submitting it as a mandatory proof in educational institutions.

The answers to all these questions came through a verdict by a Five Judge Bench, which was led by CJI Dipak Misra on 26th September 2018 where they made Aadhar constitutionally valid and asked the Government to have more security towards securing the data and suggested the center to bring out data protection law as soon as possible.

Most importantly, the Aadhar was not made mandatory for opening bank account, getting mobile connection and also for getting admission in schools and other educational institutions. But there was also a clear mention that linking of Aadhar is mandatory for filing income tax returns. Also it was given in the verdict that private companies cannot ask for Aadhar details.

Live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings

On 26th September 2018 SC passed an order, increasing transparency in the court proceeding by ordering for the arrangement of live-streaming to all, for cases which are of constitutional importance. This judgement passed by three Bench Judge passed an order requesting the Attorney General to make necessary guidelines for this live-streaming who in turn has made suggestion to the centre to set up a TV channel alongside the Rajya Sabha TV for streaming SC cases live for everyone’s view but with the restriction of cases relating to personal matters.

Sabarimala verdict

As per the customary practices of the Sabarimala temple, women within the age of 50 was not allowed to enter the temple premises until the latest Supreme Court Judgement this year on 28th September passed by a Five judge Bench on the ratio of 4:1 allowing women of any age to enter the temple premises favouring the women since the customary practices had a discriminating effect on the women and thus it was on the violation of the fundamental rights. Hence, the Supreme Court passed a Judgement permitting entry to all women irrespective of their age.

Setting stone for Democracy:

In a judgment delivered by a Five Judge Supreme Court Bench under the Heading of CJI Dipak Misra the court  mandated all the politicians contesting for elections to furnish full details of their past criminal records. And this law suggested that these criminal antecedents of the politicians contesting for elections to be published to the public at large. It was clarified that these criminal records would not debar them from contesting in an election unless there was a conviction given against them by any criminal court. Thus, unless they are convicted they cannot be barred from contesting the elections, but this judgment mandates the politicians to furnish the details of all pending criminal cases against them.

100-year-old dispute’s verdict

The Supreme Court on the 27th September passed a verdict regarding the century-old Ayodhya Dispute. The verdict clearly declined the reference of this case to the Five Judge Bench and mentioned that the case will be heard by a new three Judge bench. Then on October 29th, the Bench adjourned the case to 2019 where the CJI stated that the past verdict has no mention on this case.


This year seemed a remarkable year since it witnessed judgments to many disputing and tabooed issues and brought it to the limelight to the layman and made it known to all citizens. These judgements have brought appreciation from some sector and criticisms from another section. “Every Coin has two Sides” and we must take the good in it and it is our duty to ignore the negative aspects and look into the positive aspect.