5 landmark judgements that changed the course of women in India

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Supreme court has done well to legally reaffirm women’s right


Maya Angelou, the famous American poet, had said, “Each time a woman stand for herself, she stands for all women.” The Indian judiciary has played a crucial role in framing and interpreting the law to uphold women’s right and dignity in India, resulting in several landmark judgements. India is one of the few countries in the world with maximum number of laws that protect women and empower them.

The Indian constitution upholds women’s right through right to equality, right to life with dignity and right to freedom from discrimination.

There are countless judgments that changed that have positively influenced the women rights movement in India

1.    Vishaka Vs State of Rajasthan

Bhanwari Devi, a social worker from Rajasthan was brutally gang – raped by five men for preventing a child marriage. Determined to seek justice, she decided to go to court. In a shocking decision, the trial court acquitted all five accused.

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2.    Mary Roy Vs Sate of Kerela

Women from the Syrian Christian community in Kerela were prevented from inheriting property due to patriarchal traditions. This decree was challenged by Mary Roy, a women’s right activist and educator. After the demise of her father, she filled a case against her elder brother when she was denied equal share in family’s inheritance.

3.    Lata Singh Vs State of Uttar Pradesh

Lata Singh was an adult when she left her family home to be joined in matrimony with a man from a lower caste. Her brothers, who were unhappy with the alliance, filed a missing person report, and alleged Lata has been abducted. This resulted in the arrest of three people from her husband’s family.

4.    Laxmi Vs Union of India

In 2006, Laxmi and acid attack victim filed a petition seeking measures to regulate the sale of acid and provide adequate compensation to the victim. Taking cognizance of the number of cases relating to acid attacks against women o the rise, the Supreme Court imposed stringent regulations of the sale of acid in 2013.

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5.    Tamil Nadu Vs Suhas Kaatti

This case led to the first conviction under the Information Technology Act, 2020. The victim was being harassed by the accused, Suhas Katti, when she refused to marry him.

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