Chandrachud, Justice D Y
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Judgements of Justice Y V vs. Justice D Y Chandrachud
Dhananjay Mahapatra, Chandrachud runs into father’s ruling yet again, August 3, 2018: The Times of India
Never in judicial history has a Supreme Court judge had to repeatedly cross swords with his father’s judgments.
Nearly a year after overruling the infamous Emergency-era ADM Jabalpur judgment, to which Justice Y V Chandrachud was a partner, Justice D Y Chandrachud now stares at the prospect of overruling his father’s judgment upholding the validity of Section 497 which makes adultery a criminal offence.
One of the main reasons why CJI Dipak Misra constituted a five-judge bench, including Justice Chandrachud, was the May 27, 1985, judgment of the SC by then CJI Y V Chandrachud and Justices R S Pathak and A N Sen upholding the validity of Section 497 and rejecting a petition seeking to make men and women equally liable for the offence of adultery. The then CJI had said, “It is commonly accepted that it is the man who is the seducer and not the woman. This position my have undergone some change over the years but it is for the legislature to consider whether Section 497 should be amended appropriately...”
The Law Commission in 1971 had recommended that both men and women should face punishment under Section 497 for adultery but Parliament did not agree to amend the provision. But CJI Chandrachud said, “We cannot strike down that section on the ground that it is desirable to delete it.”
On Thursday, CJI Misra and Justices R F Nariman and D Y Chandrachud were more vocal against retention of Section 497, terming it an affront to women and their dignity since the provision treated them like chattels of their husbands. Justice Chandrachud took a dig at the 1985 judgment and said, “We must make our judgments relevant to the present day...”