Gay sex, convicted lawmakers, coal issues engaged SC in 2013

SupremeCourtThe year will also be remembered for the steps taken by the apex court to clean electoral system from corrupt elements by disqualifying legislative members on conviction in a criminal case.

Landmark judgements on electoral reforms including stopping jail birds from becoming lawmakers, "caged" CBI clamouring for "autonomy" and censuring of an ex-judge for alleged sexual harassment were some issues in 2013 which kept busy the Supreme Court whose verdict criminalising gay sex evoked severe criticism.

The year also witnessed a liberal and pro-active apex court keeping the Centre and corporate honchos on tenterhooks in various cases including coalgate and 2G scam while the film industry got a rude shock when actor Sanjay Dutt was held guilty and sent to jail for five years in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

However, a week after a Supreme Court inquiry indicted Justice A K Ganguly for his "unwelcome behaviour" and "conduct of sexual nature" towards the law intern, the apex court drew worldwide criticism for its December 11 verdict setting aside the path breaking direction of the 2009 Delhi High Court which had decriminalised section 377 of the penal code on gay sex.

Furore by different sections of society including the LGBT community, which dubbed the verdict of Justice G S Singhvi (since retired) and Justice S J Mukhopadhaya as "retrograde", "medieval" and out of sync with modern times, forced the Centre to rush to the top court for re-look of the judgement.

The year will also be remembered for the steps taken by the apex court to clean electoral system from corrupt elements by disqualifying legislative members on conviction in a criminal case and barring jailed politicians from contesting polls.

Besides, unleashing a crackdown against freebies by political parties, providing none of the above option (NOTA) to voters and introduction of paper trail in EVM, were some of the poll reforms which brought lot of accolades for the apex court which also gave stern message to the CBI not to act like a "caged parrot" and "speak in master's voice".

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