Allahabad High Court: From Indira verdict to triple talaq ruling, 5 landmark judgments

All the speakers at the closing ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the Allahabad High Court praised the role played by it in the protecting democracy and establishing rule of law. Five of several landmark judgments of the Allahabad High Court are discussed here.

The Allahabad High Court today marked its 150th anniversary with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CJI JS Khehar attending the closing ceremony.

Beginning its journey in 1866, the Allahabad High Court has played significant role in establishing the rule of law in the India after Independence.

The high court has delivered several judgments that kept the powerful ruling class in check and helped millions of people.

THE INDIRA VERDICT

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had won the 1971 parliamentary election from Raebareli defeating socialist leader Raj Narain convincingly. Raj Narain challenged Indira Gandhi's election on the grounds of electoral malpractices and violation of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The case was adjudicated by the Allahabad High Court on June 12, 1975. The Allahabad High Court found Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices and declared her election invalid.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was convicted by a single-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court. Justice Jagamohanlal Sinha pronounced the judgment to Indira Gandhi, who was present in the Allahabad High Court.

The Allahabad High Court barred her from holding any electoral post following this verdict and also debarred her from contesting election for six years.

It is widely believed that the Allahabad High Court verdict prompted Indira Gandhi to declare emergency in the country on June 25, 1975.

Interestingly, just a day ahead of proclamation of emergency, the Supreme Court had stayed the Allahabad High Court verdict. Later, the apex court overturned the Allahabad High Court judgment.

But, the all-powerful Prime Minister had changed the course of post-Independence Indian history.

THE BABRI JUDGEMENT

Six years into hearing over the title suit in Babri masjid-Ram janmabhoomi dispute of Ayodhya, a special full bench of the Allahabad High Court the land, where Mughal era mosque stood for nearly 500 years before being pulled down in 1992, be divided into three equal parts among the contesting parties.

The Allahabad High Court ruled that Ram Lalla, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Waqf Board would be the joint-title holder of the disputed land. Two-third of the land went to the Hindu plaintiffs while the other one-third was placed under the Sunni Muslim Waqf Board.

A 2-1 majority verdict of the Allahabad High Court also ruled that the portion of land right beneath the central dome of the demolished mosque was the place of birth of Lord Ram "as per faith and belief of the Hindus". This is the spot where the idol of Ram Lalla is placed in a makeshift temple.

The Allahabad High Court's ruling was a decision that shocked many and surprised several prominent legal luminaries.

The matter is pending before the Supreme Court, which, interestingly, has recently suggested that the dispute be resolved through mutual settlement through consultations.BAN ON CASTE RALLIES

In July 2013, the Allahabad High Court delivered another landmark judgment that helped 'purify' politics in Uttar Pradesh to some extent.

The Allahabad High Court banned caste-based rallies with immediate effect issuing notices to the Centre, Uttar Pradesh government, the Election Commission and all the leading political parties of the state.

A bench of Justices Uma Nath Singh and Mahendra Dayal delivered the verdict on a PIL seeking ban on such rallies.

The Allahabad High Court accepted the petitioner's argument that there was an upsurge in caste-based political rallies in Uttar Pradesh. Caste-based rallies are against the spirit of Constitution and led to enmity among the politically rival castes, the petitioner said.

The ruling had come in the backdrop of caste-based rallies held by the two leading parties of Uttar Pradesh - the BSP and the SP.

The BSP had held Brahmin Bhaichara Sammelan in Lucknow only days ago. It had also organised Muslim Bhaichara Sammelans at Barabanki and Lucknow. The Samajwadi Party too had held Brahmin Sammelan.

The Allahabad High Court ruling put brakes on caste-based rallies in the most populous state of the country.'BABUS MUST SEND THEIR KIDS TO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS'

In August 2015, the Allahabad High Court took the role of a reformer. Taking serious note of the pathetic condition of the primary schools in Uttar Pradesh the Allahabad High Court ordered all the sarkari babus to send their kids to government schools.

The Allahabad High Court directed the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that children or wards of government officials, those serving in the local bodies, representatives of people and judiciary are sent to these schools.

The Allahabad High Court tersely observed, "Only then would they be serious enough to look into the requirements of these schools and ensure that they are run in good condition."

The Allahabad High Court said that that even though the government schools catered to the needs of 90 per cent population of children, their condition was 'shabby'.THE TRIPLE TALAQ RULING

In December last year, the Allahabad High Court again delivered a landmark judgment declaring the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional.

The Allahabad High Court said triple talaq violates the rights of Muslim women. "No personal law board is above the Constitution," the Allahabad High Court added.

Calling triple talaq 'cruel' and 'most demeaning', the Allahabad High Court said that the practice 'impedes and drags India from becoming a nation'.

The single-judge bench of Justice Suneet Kumar said, "The question which disturbs the court is - should Muslim wives suffer this tyranny for all times? Should their personal law remain so cruel towards these unfortunate wives? Whether the personal law can be amended suitably to alleviate their sufferings? The judicial conscience is disturbed at this monstrosity."

The case is presently being heard at the Supreme Court, which has formed a constitutional bench to hear the matter.

The apex court has expressed its willingness to forgo summer vacation to hear the triple talaq case while asking the Centre to state if it will 'cooperate' to expedite the judicial process in the matter.

Also Read:

Modi at Allahabad High Court: More use of technology in judiciary crucial for new India

Allahabad: With PM Modi, CJI Khehar on stage, Adityanath says law is supreme