The 13 months and five days that Justice Dipak Misra spent in the office of Chief Justice of India will be remembered for some key judgements taken by the Supreme Court benches headed by him. However, his tenure will also be remembered for the controversies that have surrounded him at the top post of the apex court. Four of the senior-most judges had openly questioned his style of functioning in allocation of cases to different benches and listing Constitution Bench matters before a bench of Judges who were relatively newcomers to the top court.
Here are some of his key judgements:
Validity of Aadhaar: The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar but limited its scope. The top court ruled that the Centre's biometric identity proof cannot be made mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. SC said Aadhaar will be mandatory for the filing of Income Tax returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).
Women entry in Sabarimala temple: In a majority 4:1 judgement, the SC ruled that women in the age group of 10-50 will also be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. SC said the ban on women in the menstruating age group was considered to be 'impure', violated their fundamental rights and the constitutional guarantee of equality.
Abolition of Adultery Law: SC struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with the offence of adultery and said that adultery is no longer a crime in India. Dubbing the law as 'archaic' and 'unconstitutional', SC said that women are not a property of the men. It also section 198 of the CrPC which deals with prosecution of offences against marriage.
Ayodhya land dispute case: SC declined to refer to a larger bench its 1994 verdict for a review over the observation that "mosque is not an essential part of the practice of Islam". With this decision, the hearing of the long-pending Ayodhya title suit will begin from October 29. SC said that the earlier observation was made in the limited context of "land acquisition" during the hearing of the Ayodhya case and will not have any bearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.
Banning legislators from contesting elections: SC ruled that candidates cannot be disqualified from contesting elections merely on the basis of charges against them in a criminal case. However, the SC said that political parties will have to publicise the list of cases pending against their candidates.
Promotion in jobs for SC/ST: SC said its 2006 verdict putting the benefits of quota in job promotions for SC/ST employees need not be referred to a seven-judge bench. The apex court also turned down the Centre's plea that overall population of SC/ST be considered for granting quota for them.