Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra is set to retire on October 2. The Bench he heads has reserved its judgment on some important issues and is expected to rule on these before the retirement date. Here are the cases on which a judgment is expected during the next one month:
Aadhaar: Petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of the 2016 Aadhaar Act and the notifications issued by the government under the Act. The petitioners have contended that the unique identity violates citizens’ right to privacy.
Section 377: The Supreme Court will decide whether or not to strike down this section of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial-era provision that punishes same-sex relations.
Adultery: Petitioners want Section 497 of the IPC, which punishes only a man for the offence of adultery, to be made gender-neutral.
Criminalisation of politics: The Supreme Court will decide whether politicians who are chargesheeted in criminal offences should be allowed to contest elections.
Lawmakers as lawyers: Can an MP or an MLA practise as an advocate before a court of law while he or she holds that position? The Supreme Court will decide.
Ayodhya reference: The court will decide if the judgment of a five-judge Constitution Bench in M Ismail Faruqui vs Union of India should be re-examined by a larger Bench. In 1994, the five-judge Bench had held that a mosque was not a “essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam” and hence “its acquisition (by the state) is not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India”. This issue has now come up during the hearing of the Ayodhya title suit.
Sabarimala: The petitioners have challenged age-based restrictions on the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
Live webcast of court proceedings: The court will decide whether this should be allowed on a pilot basis in the court of the Chief Justice of India.
Reservation in promotions: The court will rule whether there is any need to reconsider a 12-year-old judgment in M Nagaraj vs Union of India. In 2006, the Supreme Court had put conditions for granting quota benefits for job promotions to SC/ST employees in the public sector.
This Word Means – Leptospirosis
Outbreak in flood-hit Kerala. What is this waterborne disease, which is often spread by rats?
The floods in Kerala have led to an outbreak of leptospirosis, with 143 confirmed cases and six deaths in the first three days of this month, besides another 283 suspected cases and 20 suspected deaths. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is most prevalent in tropical regions, with outbreaks common during floods. It is also called rat fever because it can be transmitted through water contaminated with urine of rats — by drinking that water (or eating contaminated food), through cuts and abrasions, or through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth. Although the bacteria can be present in many animals — cattle, goat, pigs, dogs — rodents are considered the primary source of infection to human beings; human-to-human transmission is rare, according to the World Health Organization.
WHO describes the incubation period of leptospirosis as usually 5-14 days, with a range of 2-30 days. The symptoms can vary from a mild flu-like illness to a sometimes fatal disease; this happens in 5-15% of untreated cases. It is often difficult to diagnose as it can appear to be very similar to dengue, typhoid and viral hepatitis. Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics that should be given as early as possible; WHO recommends that clinicians should never wait for the results of laboratory tests. Among preventive measures, it suggests protective clothing (boots, gloves, masks etc), covering skin lesions, and washing after exposure to urine splashes or contaminated soil or water. No vaccines are currently available.