Monday, December 10, 2012

Major Indian judiciary rulings related to rights of women

For the last day, Prajnya organized a symposium, Outlawing Gender Violence, for legal professionals and students. Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Violence and Domestic Violence were some of the key issues that were discussed.

What are the major decisions of the Indian Judiciary relating to the Rights of Women?
  • C.B. Muthamma vs. Union of India (AIR 1979 SC 1868): The Supreme Court of India laid down that seniority promotion shall not be denied on the ground of sex.
  • Air India vs. Nargesh Meerza (AIR 1981 SC 1829): The Supreme Court of India confirmed that a woman shall not be denied a job on mere gender grounds.
  • Mohammed Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano (AIR 1985 SC 945): The Supreme Court granted equal right of maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 to a divorced married woman notwithstanding the personal law.
  • -Bodhisattwa v. Ms. Subhra Chakraborty (AIR 1996 SC 922): The Supreme Court held that rape is a crime against basic human rights.
  • Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan (AIR 1997 SC 301): The Supreme Court, considering the inadequacy of legislation on the point, assumed the role of legislature and defined sexual harassment and laid down instruction for the employers.
  • Apparel Export Promotion Council v. A. K. Chopra (AIR 1999 SC 625): The Supreme Court found all facets of gender equality including prevention of sexual harassment in the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution.
  • Githa Hariharan v. Reserve Bank of India (AIR 1999 SC 1149): The Supreme Court interpreted Section 6(a) of Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and Section 19(b) of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 in such a way that father and mother get equal status as guardians of a minor.
  • Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Female Workers (Muster Roll) (AIR 2000 SC 1274): The Supreme Court extended the benefits of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 to the Muster Roll (Daily Wagers) female employees of Delhi Municipal Corporation. The Court directly incorporated the provisions of Article 11 of CEDAW into Indian Law.
  • Chairman, Railway Board v. Chandrima Dass (AIR 2000 SC 988): The Supreme Court awarded compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs to an alien woman under Article 21 of Constitution, who has been a victim of rape.

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