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30 Feminist Judgments Of 2020

Akshita Saxena
1 Jan 2021 6:39 AM GMT
30 Feminist Judgments Of 2020

Orders Defending Women Rights 1. Daughters Have Coparcenary Rights Even If Their Father Was Not Alive When Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 Came Into Force: SC The Supreme Court held that a daughter will have a share after Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, irrespective of whether her father was alive or not at the time of the amendment. A bench comprising of...

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Orders Defending Women Rights

1. Daughters Have Coparcenary Rights Even If Their Father Was Not Alive When Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 Came Into Force: SC

The Supreme Court held that a daughter will have a share after Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, irrespective of whether her father was alive or not at the time of the amendment. A bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah pronounced the judgment in a batch of appeals that raised an important legal issue whether the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, which gave equal right to daughters in ancestral property, has a retrospective effect.

"Daughters must be given equal rights as sons, Daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life. The daughter shall remain a coparcener throughout life, irrespective of whether her father is alive or not", the Bench said while overruling the contrary observations made in Prakash v. Phulavati and Mangammal v. TB Raju.

Also Read: Injustice To Daughters In Hindu Shastric Law Done Away With: SC Explains The Impact Of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005 [Read Judgment]

[Case: Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma]

2. 'Absolute Exclusion Of Women From Command Appointments In Army Illegal': SC Dismisses Centre's Appeals Against Delhi HC Verdict

In a significant judgment on gender equality, the Supreme Court directed that Permanent Commission should be granted to women in the army regardless of their service, in all the ten streams where the Union Government has already taken a decision to grant Short Service Commission to women. The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi also held that absolute exclusion of women from command assignments is against Article 14 of the Constitution and unjustified. Therefore, the policy that women will be given only "staff appointments" was held to be unenforceable by the Court.

Later in March, in another judgment, the court held that women officers in Navy are also entitled to Permanent Commission at par with men (Union of India v Lt Cdr Annie Nagaraja).

Also Read: Notion That Women Are 'Weaker Sex' Constitutionally Flawed: SC Calls For Change In Mindset

Also Read: Women In Army: How SC Rejected Centre's Arguments Based On 'Sex Stereotypes'?

[Case: Secretary, Ministry of Defence v. Babita Puniya & Ors.]

3. [Domestic Violence Act] Wife Entitled To Claim Right Of Residence Which Belongs To Relatives Of Husband Also: Supreme Court Overrules Its 2006 'SR Batra' Judgment

A wife is also entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household belonging to relatives of the husband, the Supreme Court held in an important judgment overruling the 2006 judgment in SR Batra v. Taruna Batra. "In the event, shared household belongs to any relative of the husband with whom in a domestic relationship the woman has lived, the conditions mentioned in Section 2(s) are satisfied and the said house will become a shared household," the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.

It added, "The living of woman in a household has to refer to a living which has some permanency. Mere fleeting or casual living at different places shall not make a shared household. The intention of the parties and the nature of living including the nature of household have to be looked into to find out as to whether the parties intended to treat the premises as shared household or not. As noted above, Act 2005 was enacted to give a higher right in favour of woman. The Act, 2005 has been enacted to provide for more effective protection of the rights of the woman who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family. The Act has to be interpreted in a manner to effectuate the very purpose and object of the Act."

[Case: Satish Chander Ahuja v. Sneha Ahuja]

4. Summary Eviction Procedure Under Senior Citizens Act Cannot Be Invoked To Defeat Right Of Residence Of Woman In A Shared Household As Per DV Act: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court held that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act has no overriding effect over the right of residence of a woman in a shared household within the meaning of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. The right of a woman to secure a residence order in respect of a shared household cannot be defeated by the simple expedient of securing an order of eviction by adopting the summary procedure under the Senior Citizens Act, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee observed in this case

"Allowing the Senior Citizens Act 2007 to have an overriding force and effect in all situations, irrespective of competing entitlements of a woman to a right in a shared household within the meaning of the PWDV Act 2005, would defeat the object and purpose which the Parliament sought to achieve in enacting the latter legislation. The law protecting the interest of senior citizens is intended to ensure that they are not left destitute, or at the mercy of their children or relatives. Equally, the purpose of the PWDV Act 2005 cannot be ignored by a sleight of statutory interpretation. Both sets of legislations have to be harmoniously construed. Hence the right of a woman to secure a residence order in respect of a shared household cannot be defeated by the simple expedient of securing an order of eviction by adopting the summary procedure under the Senior Citizens Act 2007," stated the Court.

[Case: S. Vanitha v. Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District]

5. 'Infringement Of Right To Life Of A Rape Victim "Outweighs" The Right To Life Of The Child In Womb': Rajasthan HC Issues Directions For Termination Of Rape Victim Pregnancies

The division bench comprised by Justice Sandeep Mehta and Dr. Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati held that "the right of a child rape victim to make the reproductive choice of terminating the foetus heavily outweighs the right of the child in womb to be born even where the pregnancy is at an advanced stage," and passed directions to ensure that minor rape victims are not denied the right to terminate unwanted pregnancies. The decision was passed in a second appeal preferred by the State Government in its capacity as the parens patriae ,after a single-Judge bench of the High Court denied a minor rape victim's plea to terminate 25 weeks old pregnancy.

By disallowing the minor victim to terminate her pregnancy, the court said, the single-Judge had forced an unborn child to fall in the category of child in need of care and protection under the JJ Act.

Also Read: Rajasthan HC's Judgment On Supremacy Of Woman's Autonomy In Matters Of Abortion

Similar Read: Right To Progeny And Termination Thereof Is A Fundamental Right Under Article 21: Orissa High Court

[Case: State Of Rajasthan & Ors. v. S. & Anr.]

6. 'Two Finger Test' Unconstitutional As Violative Of Woman's Right To Privacy & Dignity: Gujarat HC

Division Bench comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Bhargav D Karia held that the "archaic and outdated" practice of a two-finger test, conducted to determine the virginity/consent of a rape victim, is unconstitutional. The court observed that the two-finger test is violative of the right of the victim to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity.

As per the court this test is in direct conflict with the proviso to Section 146 of the Indian Evidence Act, which stipulates that "in prosecution for rape or attempt to commit rape, it shall not be permissible to put questions in the cross-examination of the prosecutrix as to her general immoral character."

Similar Read: Desist From Undertaking 'Two Finger Test', Avoid Disclosing Rape Survivors' Identity: J&K High Court Directs Trial Courts

[Case: State Of Gujarat v. Rameshchandra Ramabhai Panchal]

7. Sexual Harassment At Workplace Is An Affront to Women's Fundamental Rights: SC

Sexual harassment at the workplace is an affront to the fundamental rights of a woman, the bench of Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi remarked while upholding a High Court judgment that quashed a transfer of a woman bank employee. A woman employee of the Punjab and Sind Bank, who was holding the office of Chief Manager in the Scale IV in Indore branch was transferred to the branch at Sarsawa in the district of Jabalpur. She challenged the said transfer alleging that her reports about irregularities and corruption at her branch and her complaints against an officer who sexually harassed her met with an order of transfer. The High Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the Transfer order.

Similar Read: Sexual Harassment At Workplace - Impossible To Ignore How Easily 'Common Woman' Is Put Down By 'Common Man', Less Said Better About Third Gender: Delhi High Court

[Case: Punjab and Sindh Bank and Others v. Mrs Durgesh Kuwar]

8. 'State Cannot Act In A Misogynistic Way': Himachal Pradesh High Court Reads Down Policy Excluding Married Daughters From Compassionate Appointment

"The State cannot act in a misogynistic way," the Bench comprising of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia remarked while allowing a married daughter's plea seeking compassionate appointment in her deceased father's place.

"If the marital status of a son does not make any difference in the eyes of law, then it is difficult to think, how marital status of a daughter makes such a huge difference in her eligibility. In fact, marriage does not have proximate nexus with identity and even after marriage, a daughter continues to be a daughter. Therefore, if a married son has right to compassionate appointment, then a married daughter also stands on the same footing and her exclusion does not have any plausible basis or logic, so her exclusion has no justifiable criteria," the Court held.

Similar Read: Excluding Married Daughter From Seeking Benefit Of Compassionate Appointment Is Unconstitutional: Karnataka High Court

Similar Read: Marital Status Of A Daughter Alone Not A Ground For Rejecting Claim For Compassionate Appointment: Reiterates Allahabad HC

Similar Read: Govt. Policy Prohibiting Consideration Of Married Women For Compassionate Appointment Is Unconstitutional: Madhya Pradesh HC

[Case: Mamta Devi v. State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors.]

9. "Prostitution Not An Offence; Adult Woman Has Right To Choose Her Vocation": Bombay HC Orders Release of 3 Sex Workers From Corrective Institution

While observing that prostitution has not been made an offence under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 and that an adult woman has the right to choose her vocation and cannot be detained without her consent, the Single Bench of Justice Prithviraj K. Chavan of the Bombay High Court set free 3 sex workers from the Corrective Institution.

"It is equally important to note that the petitioner victims are major and, therefore, have a right to reside at the place of their choice, to move freely throughout the territory of India and to choose their own vocation as enshrined in Part III of fundamental rights of the Constitution of India," observed the Court.

Similar Read: Section 370 IPC Cannot Be Applied Against A Woman Who Herself Is A Victim Of Trafficking: Madhya Pradesh HC

[Case: X v. State of Maharashtra (through the Inspector-in-Charge of Malad Police Station)]

10. "Role Of A Woman As A Housewife Most Important & Challenging"; Bombay HC Grants Rs.8 Lakh In Compensation To Family Of Woman Who Died In Car Crash

The Bench of Justice Anil S Kilor granted over Rs.8 lakh towards compensation to the family of a deceased 45-year-old woman who succumbed to her injuries after the driver of the jeep she was travelling in violently dashed into a tree.

"When we talk about a 'family', the role of a woman as a 'housewife' in family is the most challenging and important role which deserves much appreciation but is least appreciated. In fact emotionally she holds the family together. She is a pillar support for her husband, a guiding light for her child/children and harbor for the family's elderly. She works round-the-clock without a single day off, no matter whether she is working or not. However, the work she does go unacknowledged and is not considered as a 'job'. It is an impossible task to count the services she renders which are consisting of hundreds of components that go into the functioning of a household itself, in monetary terms," the Court observed.

[Case: Rambhau & Ors. v. Shivlal & Ors.]

11. "Family Can't Force A Woman To Get Married": Delhi HC Directs Family Not To Contact Her; Allows 26Yr Old Woman To Stay With Shabnam Hashmi As Per Her Wish

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar provided relief to an adult woman who left her home to marry the man of her choice. After taking her consent and wishes into consideration, the court noted that being a major, she has a free will to reside wherever she wants and with whoever she wishes.

The order was passed in a habeas corpus petition moved by the family members of the said woman, seeking her production before the court. As per the petition, she went missing on 12/09/20.

Also Read: An Adult Woman Is Free To Reside Wherever She Wishes And With Whoever She Wishes: Delhi HC Directs Police To Counsel The Parents

Similar Read: No Interference Needed When Adult Woman Marries As Per Her Choice & Decides To Convert: Calcutta High Court

Similar Read: "She Has A Choice To Live Life On Own Terms": Allahabad High Court Reunites An Interfaith Couple

[Case: Parveen v. GNCTD]

12. There Cannot Be A Straight Jacket Formula As To How A Woman Will React To An Act Of Outrage: Bombay HC

"There cannot be a straight jacket formula as to how a woman will react to an act of outrage by a male," remarked the bench of Justice Bharati Dangre in an order granting bail to a 24-yr-old rape accused. The observation was made while negating the insinuation of victim's 'consent' imputed by the applicant's counsel.

"All women are borne into different circumstances in life, go through different things and faces, experience and react differently and necessarily each woman would turn out to be different from the other. The concept of consent of the victim or as to at what stage the consent was revoked and the act of physical indulgence was attempted to be restrained is a matter of trial," the bench added.

Similar Read: "Surrender Can Never Be Construed as Consensual Acts of Sexual Intercourse".: Kerala HC Upholds Conviction Of A Rape Accused

[Case: Jitin Mothukiri v. State of Maharashtra]

13. A Woman Who Lived Like A Wife Cannot Be Deprived Of Maintenance: Tripura HC

A woman who lived like a wife and in the perception she was treated as the wife cannot be deprived of the maintenance, single bench of Justice S. Talapatra observed. He added, such a woman also has right to live in society with dignity and Section 125 of CrPC must be interpreted in the light of legislative changes which has taken into its embrace the changing reality of the man-woman relationship.

In this case, the contention put forth by the husband was that the woman seeking maintenance against him had 'married' him while his spouse was alive, and thus she was not his wife as there was no marriage legally between them. The Family Court observed that the marriage has been proved by the evidence, even though the husband had his spouse living at the relevant point of time, but the fact was grossly suppressed from the woman at the time of the marriage. The Court had observed that the husband could not be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong.

[Case: Bibhuti Ranjan Das v. Gouri Das]

14. Motherhood Can't Be Equated With Loss Of Employment; Maternity Leave Not A Reason To Deny Tenure Extension To Contract Staff : Delhi HC

A Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Asha Menon quashed the termination letter of an ad-hoc Professor whose contract was not renewed by the College as she had taken a maternity leave, which was not approved by the said College. The bench also imposed a cost of ₹50,000 on the Respondents for giving arbitrary and unmerited reasons for not renewing the term of the Appellant.

The Court added that such denial would amount to penalizing a woman for electing to become a mother: "Such a justification offered by the respondents for declining to grant an extension to the appellant/petitioner as she had highlighted her need for leave due to her pregnancy and confinement would tantamount to penalizing a woman for electing to become a mother while still employed and thus pushing her into a choiceless situation as motherhood would be equated with loss of employment.

This is violative of the basic principle of equality in the eyes of law. It would also tantamount to depriving her of the protection assured under Article 21 of the Constitution of India of her right to employment and protection of her reproductive rights as a woman. Such a consequence is therefore absolutely unacceptable and goes against the very grain of the equality principles enshrined in Articles 14 and 16".

[Case: Manisha Priyadarshani v. Aurobindo College- Evening & Ors.]

15. Inadequate Menstrual Hygiene Facilities Impeding Right to Education: Jammu & Kashmir HC Takes Suo Moto case

A bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sindhu Sharma said that menstrual health should be read along with Right to Education, which has been enshrined under Article 21 A of the Indian Constitution. The Court focussed on how the female adolescents faced difficulties in exercising this right when they are deprived of basic menstrual hygiene products or knowledge about menstrual health. The Bench said that such illiteracy about such an important subject will lead to unhygienic practices that have serious health consequences, and increased obstinacy, which will lead to an eventual dropping out from schools.

The Court stated, "Inadequate Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) options would be a major barrier to education, even in Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, with many adolescent girls dropping out due to lack of access to sanitation facilities, menstrual products and the stigma associated with menstruation. The difficulties faced by these young girls are compounded by the fact that there are several educational facilities and institutions without basic toilet facilities. It cannot be denied that separate and basic toilets are essential for ensuring constitutional guarantees to these children." The Bench also said that it is the responsibility of the states to educate children about menstrual health and hygiene and to make sanitary products accessible to all adolescents, especially those who cannot afford them due to financial constraints.

[Case: Court on its own motion v. Government of India & Ors.]

16. Scope Of Art. 15(3) Much Wider Than Article 16(4): CAT Upholds 80% Reservation For Women Nurses In AIIMS

Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal at Delhi has upheld 80% reservation for women in nursing officer posts. A Bench of Pradeep Kumar, Member (A) and RN Singh, Member (J) on Thursday dismissed two pleas against 'gender-based reservation' and said, "The reservation of 80% posts of Nursing Officer for female, as notified, is considered to be a special provision for women candidate under Article 15 (3) of the Constitution as a separate classification and is held to be valid."

The primary contention of the Applicants, aspirants for the post of Nursing Officer, was that the provision granting 80% reservation to females was against the mandate of Indra Sawhney vs. Union of India, 1992 Supp. 3 SCC 217, whereby 50% upper limit was set on reservations. It was also argued that the Central Institute Body (CIB), which had prescribed such reservation, is not a competent body.

Addressing the first issue raised by the Applicants, the Tribunal said, "This Tribunal is of the considered view that Article 15 (3) provides for special provision for women. The Hon'ble Apex Court have held in many judgments, including in P.B. Vijay Kumar that scope of Article 15 (3) is much wider as compared to that of Article 16 (4) under which 50% ceiling was fixed in Indra Sawhney… scope of Article 15 (3) is much wider, as compared to that of Article 16 (4), which is limited to only to community-based reservation in public employment for candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC."

While ruling so, the Tribunal was in agreement with the decisions rendered by CAT, Patna and the Patna High Court whereby gender-based reservation in recruitment of Nursing Officers for AIIMS Patna was upheld.

[Case: Ranveer Singh & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors]

17. Second Marriage Under Muslim Law Though Legal, May Be Construed As Cruelty To First Wife: Karnataka HC

In a significant judgment, a Bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice P. Krishna Bhat observed that even though contracting a second marriage by a Muslim husband is lawful, it often causes "enormous cruelty" to the first wife, justifying her claim for divorce. It explained that cruelty is a very subjective concept and the conduct constituting is "indefinitely variable".

"Merely because an act is lawful, it does not per se become justifiable in married life; for example, of course subject to all just exceptions, smoking and drinking are not unlawful; snoring too, is not; but still in certain circumstances they may amount to cruelty to a sensitive spouse; on the same analogy though contracting a second marriage by a Muslim may be lawful, but it more often than not, causes enormous cruelty to the first wife justifying her claim for divorce," the Court remarked while deciding an appeal preferred by a Muslim husband, against the Family Court order for dissolution of his marriage with the first wife, on the ground of cruelty.

[Case: Yusufpatel v. Ramjanb]

18. [Prenatal Sex Determination] Termination Of Female Foeticide Is Destruction Of Woman Of Future: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Expressing its concern over the practice of prenatal sex determination, the Punjab & Haryana High Court observed that, "Considering the disdainful attitude of the society to a female child and use of diagnostic equipment for female foeticide Act was enacted to curb the pre-natal sex determination. Despite the specific legislation the menace of sex-based destruction of foetus continues to plague the society"

The Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan further observed, "The Constitution guarantees equality to genders but prenatal sex determination deprives a female foetus to come to this world. In a civilized society, the sex of the foetus cannot be a determining factor for having a lease of life to see this world, if permitted the consequences would be devastating, the civilization itself would be endangered."

[Case: Hassan Mohd. v. State of Haryana]

19. No Room For Any Laches Or Laxity While Investigating Heinous Crime Against Women & Children: Jharkhand HC Reprimands Police For Shoddy Investigation

Bench of Justice Ananda Sen reprimanded the state police for its shoddy investigation in a case where a lady along with her three minor children died because of extensive burn injuries and the allegation is against in-laws, of burning her along with her minor children.

"The police, who are investigating a heinous offence, like the one, which is in hand, has to act professionally with utmost sense of responsibility while investigating the offence. There is no room for any laches or laxity while investigating a heinous crime against women and children, nor any laches can be tolerated. The margin of error is zero," the Court said.

[Case: Chandrika Yadav v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

20. Rape Is Violation Of Victim's Fundamental Right Under Article 21: Gauhati HC

Dismissing an appeal preferred a rape convict, the Bench of Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan observed that rape is a violation of victim's fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution. It held that rape tantamount to a serious blow to the supreme honour of a woman and is a crime against the entire society as well.

"The chastity of a woman ruined as soon as such offence is committed, while in a civilized society, respect or reputation is a basic right. No member of society can afford to conceive the idea that he can create a hollow in the honour of a woman. Such thinking is not only lamentable but also deplorable. Youthful excitement and an attempt for momentary pleasure on the part of a person upon a woman, had a devastating effect in the entire body and mind of the victim. It is to be kept in mind that such offence lowers the dignity of a woman and mars her reputation. The Courts are sensitized that rape is a violation of victim's fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution and rape victim is placed on a higher pedestal than an injured witness. Being the most hatred crime, rape tantamount to a serious blow to the supreme honour of a woman and is a crime against the entire society as well," stated the Court.

[Case: Nasir Uddin Ali v. State Of Assam]

Orders Defending Rights of LGBTQ+ Community

21. [NCC Act] "Person Cannot Be Denied A Legitimate Right Only Because She is A Transgender", Observes Kerala High Court

"Person cannot be denied a legitimate right only because she is a transgender", noted Justice Devan Ramachandran while hearing a plea filed by a transwoman, challenging Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 as illegal and ultra vires of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The Act was challenged to the extent that it excludes the transgender community from enrolment with the National Cadet Corps.

The Court passed an interim order stating that it cannot accede to the State's submission and that the Transgender Policy in Kerala applies to all statutes. Therefore, a person could not be denied a legitimate right only because she is a transgender.

[Case: Hina Haneefa v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

22. Enable Transgender Community To Apply For The Post Of Constable: Patna High Court Asks State To Adopt A Sensitive Approach

A bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar have asked the state of Bihar to adopt a sensitive approach and asked the state to enable the transgender community to apply for the post of Constable. The Court directed the State to take remedial measures and the last date to invite applications, for the members of the Transgender Community, was directed to be extended for such time and period, as the State determines it to be feasible and appropriate.

The order was passed by the Bench when it was brought to their notice that the advertisement issued by the Central Selection Board of Constable in Bihar only allowed applications from the male and female genders. Importantly, the Court remarked, "Prima facie what we find is that the persons belonging to the Transgender Community are totally precluded from the process of applying for a post of a constable, much less, agitate their right of reservation."

[Case: Veera Yadav v. Government of Bihar & Ors]

23. [Transgender Victim Viewing Herself As Woman] Prosecution Rightly Invoked Prohibition Of Harassment Of Women Act Against Accused: Madras High Court

A Bench of Justice GR Swaminathan observed in a case that the prosecution was right in registering the complaint under Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002 against the Accused, as the defacto Complainant/ Victim (Transgender) named Neka views herself as a woman. The Court observed that the Supreme Court, in the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India (2014) 5 SCC 483, had held that it is entirely for the transgender person to self-identify her gender and that this self-determination cannot be questioned by others.

The case of the defacto complainant (Neka) is that on the occurrence date, the Petitioner-Accused had barged into her room and when the same was questioned, he had abused her in filthy language. The petitioner's counsel contended before the Court that the complainant is a transgender person and that therefore it was not open to the prosecution to invoke the provisions of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002.

Also Read: Transgenders To Be Included as Separate Gender Category in NCRB Reports: Centre Informs Delhi High Court

[Case: M. Srinivasan v. State & Neka]

24. Consensual Cohabitation Between Two Adults Of Same Sex Not Illegal; They Have A Right To Live Together Even Outside The Wedlock: Uttarakhand HC

"Even if the parties, who are living together though they are belonging to the same gender; they are not competent to enter into a wedlock, but still they have got a right to live together even outside the wedlock. It would further be not out of pretext to mention that a live-in relationship has now being recognized by the legislature itself, which has found its place under the provisions of protection of women from Domestic Violence Act," the bench of Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma held in a habeas corpus plea filed by a lesbian partner.

[Case: Madhu Bala v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

25. Only sexual Intercourse which is welcomed by the woman can be regarded as consensual

The Kerala High Court has observed that only those sexual intercourse which are welcomed could be construed as not violative of the rights of the victim, and accepted as consensual.

"Only those sexual intercourse which are welcomed could be construed as not violative of the rights of the victim, and accepted as consensual", the Court observed.

The conduct on the part of the victim girl in surrendering before the accused as and when desired by him cannot be construed as consensual acts of sexual intercourse, the court added.

"The consent, on the part of a woman as a defence to an allegation of rape, requires voluntary participation, not only after the exercise of intelligence, based on the knowledge, of the significance and moral quality of the act, but after having freely exercised a choice between resistance and assent. In other words, the consent in order to relieve an act of a criminal character, like rape, must be an act of reason, accompanied with deliberation, after the mind has weighed as in a balance, the good and evil on each side, with the existing capacity and power to withdraw the assent according to one's will or pleasure."

[ReadLiveLaw's Report]

26.Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and every adult has a right to live life on her on terms: Punjab And Haryana HC

Noting that "Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit", the High Court upheld a couple's right to be in a live in relationship.

27.Judgments of Allahabad High Court upholding right of woman to choose partner

The Allahabad High Court passed a series of orders protecting the right of a woman to choose a partner, regardless of parents' objections. Detailed report on that may be read here.

Live-in Relationship Between Consenting Adults Not An Offence : Allahabad High Court

28. Delhi High Court grants protection to inter-faith couple from vigilante groups

The Delhi High Court recently came to the rescue of an Interfaith Couple from Uttar Pradesh, who had moved the court (seeking protection) fearing threats, intimidation and acute harassment at the hands of vigilante groups, vested interests and even the authorities, seeking protection.

Other Developments

29. Plea Seeking Period Leave For Women Employees: Delhi HC Directs Centre To Consider It As Representation

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the Union of India to consider as a representation, a plea seeking period leave and facilities of periodic rests, separate and clean toilets and provision of sanitary napkins to woman employees during menstruation period.

Moved by Delhi Labour Union, the PIL sought framing of a policy by the Delhi Government and the Central Government to provide special casual leave/paid leave as well as to ensure separate and clean toilet facilities, periodic rests and free sanitary napkins to women employees during their menstruation period.

[Read LiveLaw's Report]

30. Cruelty To Wife For Dark Complexion Attracts Section 498A IPC: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court held that causing cruelty to a wife for dark complexion by her husband and in-laws will attract the offence of cruelty under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A Division Bench comprising Justices Sahidullah Munshi and Subhasis Dasgupta was hearing an appeal against the conviction of the husband and his family members, for causing death of the victim by hanging about 7 months after the marriage.

"The cause of inflicting torture was the black complexion of deceased victim, which lead the in-law's members of victim including her accused husband to cause physical cruelty upon her", the bench said while maintaining his conviction and sentence under Section 498A/302/34 of IPC.

[Case: Mazidul Miah @ Mia & Others v. State of West Bengal]

Also Read :

Good & Bad : 65 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2020

Supreme Court 2020 : Events and Controversies

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