Few Rulings

Some significant steps to uphold women’s rights in the country.

*The secretary, Ministry of Defence vs Babita puniya and ors- Permanent commission to women in Indian Army.

The Supreme Court held that all women army officers are eligible to be appointed in commanding roles and are also entitled to permanent commissions. Excluding women from command appointment and allowing them in staff appointment is not only against the right to equality under Article 14 but also unjustifed.

*State of Rajasthan vs S. –Reproductive choice of a woman is a fundamental right.

In May 2020, the division bench of Rajasthan High Court held that the reproductive choice of a woman is a fundamental right. It was observed that a women’s right to make reproductive choices is a dimension of personal liberty under Article 21. It is important to recognise that the reproductive choices of a woman can be exercised to procreate as well as to abstain from procreating.

*The state of Gujarat vs Rameshchandra Rambhai Panchal- Two-finger test violates the victim’s right to privacy, dignity and integrity.

The Gujarat High Court held that the two-finger test is unconstitutional. It violates the right of the victim to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity.

Whether a survivor is habituated to sexual intercourse before the assault has absolutely no bearing on whether she consented when the rape occurred.

( The Two-finger Test also called as PV- Per Vaginal is often used in cases of alleged rape or sexual assault in which the doctor put two fingers inside a woman’s vagina to examine if her hymen is intact or not).

*Kajal Mukesh vs the State of Maharashtra– Prostitution is not an offence, the Adult woman has a right to choose her vocation.

The Bombay High Court held that prostitution per se is not an offence under any law and what is punishable is the sexual exploitation or abuse of a person for commercial purpose.

*Family cannot force a woman to get married- The Delhi High Court while hearing a petition filed by 26-year-old woman, accusing her parents of forcing her to get married against her will held that a woman cannot be pressured to get married against her choice. If a woman wishes to stay away from her family then police or her parents cannot force her against her choice.

*Vineeta Sharma vs Rakesh Sharma- Equal rights of daughters in Coparcenary property.

The Supreme Court held that the daughter has equal coparcenary rights in Hindu Undivided Family ( HUF) property. The court held that the right arises by birth. Coparcenary rights are acquired by daughters at birth and that father need not be alive; when the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act 1956 was passed. According to the order, when a daughter is born, she also steps into coparcenary like a son.

*Punjab and Sind Bank and ors. vs Mrs Durgesh Kumar– Sexual Harassment at workplace is an affront to women’s fundamental right.

The apex court while rescinding a transfer order of a woman bank employee who had alleged sexual harassment by a senior colleague held that Sexual harassment at work violates women’s fundamental right to equality, their right to live with dignity and to practice any profession.

*Hina Haneefa vs Union of India-Person cannot be denied a legitimate right only because they are a transgender person.

The Kerela High Court observed that a person cannot be denied a legitimate right only because they are a transgender person.

*Karan Tripathi vs NCRB and ors- Transgender persons to be separate gender category in Prison Statistics Report.

The centre government informed the Delhi High Court that trans people will be now included as a separate gender category in Prison Statistics report prepared by NCRB.

Many more to come…šŸ’«

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