- 5-judge bench is expected to deliver a number of judgments this month
- The judgments include the question of validity of Aadhaar cards
- CJI Dipak Misra, who is heading the bench, will retire on October 2
From gay rights to adultery and entrance for woman in Kerala's famous Sabarimala temple, a five-judge constitution bench is expected to deliver a record number of judgments this month that have challenged the country's social fabric. There is also the question of validity of Aadhaar, which the government wants linked to every aspect of life - from financial arena to cell phone numbers and driving licence.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who is heading the bench, will retire on October 2. The array of cases before his bench, will make his tenure known for a record number of constitution bench verdicts.
The most impactful will be Aadhaar, on which the bench is expected to deliver a verdict anytime this month. The petitioners have challenged the validity of the 12-digit Unique Identification number, arguing that it violates the citizens' Right To Privacy, which has been upheld as a constitutional right by the Supreme Court.
The LGBT community is eagerly waiting for the verdict from bench, hoping that the contentious Section 377 will no longer be an impediment to their right to love. The observations made by the Bench during the hearing of this case have held out hope for them.
Another important gender issue - the traditional ban on women of child-bearing age in the temple of Sabarimala also awaits the court's decision.
Another question on gender bias -- Section 497 of Indian Penal Code that makes only a man an accused in cases of adultery and terms woman as victim - will be settled by the five-judge bench this month.
There's also the politically sensitive Ayodhya case. The bench will hand out a verdict -- not exactly on the title suit appeal, but on a connected issue.
Muslim groups have challenged a verdict delivered by the top court in 1994 that said a mosque is not an essential part of Islam. The petition wants a larger, seven-judge bench to deliberate o the issue. It depends on Justice Misra's Bench to take a decision, which will have certain spin-offs.
If the bench accepts the 1994 verdict, then the title suit of the Aydhoya case is likely to be decided early. If the bench refers the matter to a larger bench, the Ayodhya case will be put on freeze, since the title suit can be taken up only after the 7-judge bench has delivered a verdict.