Cryptocurrency – Green signal for cryptocurrency, India-Thailand highway: A recap of Supreme Court verdicts from 2020
Supreme Court (File photo)  |  Photo Credit: IANS
- SC gave orders to Centre, states to ensure timely COVID-19 treatment, help migrants
- SC started working virtually, marked landmark shift for Indian judiciary
New Delhi: 2020 would be remembered not just as the year of lockdown, but also for a number of important verdicts from the Supreme Court on constitutional issues as well as management of the pandemic. And most of these verdicts were delivered virtually, which marked a landmark shift in working of Indian judiciary.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Centre allowed to continue work on India-Myanmar-Thailand highway
The top court allowed work to continue after Centre submitted that repeated objections had put India’s credibility and punctuality under question vis-a-vis China.
- Trade-in cryptocurrency allowed
Quashing RBI’s April 2018 circular which banned trade in cryptocurrency, the Supreme Court allowed trade in virtual currency, cryptocurrency and bitcoins.
- Supreme Court declared the right to access the internet as a fundamental right
Citing contemporary relevance of the internet, the court ruled that any suspension of the internet is subject to judicial review. While deciding a batch of petitions against internet ban in J&K, the court ordered a periodic review of curfew and internet ban while striking a balance between liberty and security.
- Permanent Commission for women in armed forces
The top court upheld a Delhi HC order which allowed the permanent commission to women officers in armed forces, ruling that non-discrimination in employment is a fundamental right under the law. The court observed that denial of permanent commission caused irreparable loss to women officers in terms of service and seniority; and noted the commendable work they had done working shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.
- Anticipatory bail can’t be given only for a fixed period
The apex court ruled that an order protecting a person from arrest can’t be time-bound, though its tenure can be modified based on the nature of the case.
- Suo Motu cases on the plight of migrants, COVID treatment
The Supreme Court took note of migrants struggling to make their way home, and asked the Centre and states to facilitate their movement, ensure supply of basic essentials and employment opportunities. The court also gave periodic orders to governments on the management of the pandemic and ensuring timely medical treatment.
- CBI probe into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death
The court allowed CBI probe into an FIR filed in Bihar for an incident which occurred in Maharashtra, despite objections by Maharashtra government and Rhea Chakraborty.
- No one can claim a fundamental right to reservation in public jobs
Ruling in a case for reservation in promotions in a government department in Uttarakhand, the apex court held that state governments can’t be forced to provide reservations.
- Public places, roads can’t be occupied indefinitely by protesters
Deeming blockade of public roads in Shaheen Bagh as illegal, the top court ruled that public places can’t be blocked for demonstrations or to express dissent, and protests should be carried out only at designated places. The ruling empowered police and administrative authorities to remove such blockades without waiting for court orders.
- Political parties to declare criminal past of contesting candidates
Court-ordered political parties to publish criminal records of contesting candidates in newspapers, websites and social media handles.
- No post-facto environmental clearance for industries
Noting irreparable damage to the environment from various industries, the apex court barred any grant of ‘ex post facto’ Environmental Clearance (EC) for industrial projects, ruling that it violated fundamental principles of environmental jurisprudence.
- NEET to be a sole entrance exam for medical students
In the national interest, the court did away with separate entrance exams for medical students by private colleges, deemed universities and minority institutions.