Rights in Review is an annual publication by Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR). The Review analyses the Indian Supreme Court decisions on fundamental rights cases in the year past. CLPR began publishing Rights in Review in 2014. Rights in Review 2017is the fourth volume in the series.
The 2017 Review is a survey of all reported decisions of the Supreme Court adjudicating fundamental rights challenges from 15th December 2016 to 15th December 2017. The Review analyses selected cases which extend or modify existing legal doctrine, apply the law to new factual circumstances or otherwise have a significant impact on public policy or public affairs. Based on these criteria, 11 cases have been identified for 2017. It has been organized into 3 substantive sections: equality, life, and religious freedom.
In 2017 we notice a new and significant trend for fundamental rights protection in India. The Supreme Court constitutes 5 judge bench more readily to decide significant fundamental rights cases.
A 9 judge bench decision recognizing the right to privacy as a fundamental right is reviewed. Besides the big privacy judgement in Puttaswamy, 2017 was an important year for the protection of women’s rights. Sharaya Bano declared instantaneous triple talaq under Muslim personal law unconstitutional, Independent Thought read down the exception to the rape offence to declare child marital rape a criminal offence and Meera Santosh Pal expanded reproductive rights by permitting the termination of pregnancy beyond the 20th week if there is harm to the foetus and danger to the physical and mental health of the mother. In the year of the #metoo movement that has reshaped popular discourse on gender relations across the world and in India, the Indian Supreme Court has made its mark on this issue.
Read the full Rights in Review 2017 here.