The High Court of Chandigarh is a state level high court in India, located in the Union Territory of Chandigarh. It has jurisdiction over the UT of Chandigarh and the states of Punjab and Haryana. The court was established in 1966 and consists of a Chief Justice and other Judges as appointed by the President of India.
In 2016, the Chandigarh High Court quashed the FIRs (First Information Reports) registered against comedian Kiku Sharda for mimicking a religious figure on his television show. The court held that the comedian’s act constituted freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, and that it was not intended to hurt the religious sentiments of any community. The court also noted that humor and satire were important elements of free speech and that restrictions on speech could only be imposed in exceptional circumstances. The judgement was seen as a victory for freedom of speech and artistic expression in India.
In 2014, the Chandigarh High Court recognized transgender individuals as the “third gender” in India. The court held that the rights of transgender people must be protected under the Indian Constitution and that they are entitled to all rights and freedoms guaranteed to every citizen, including the right to education, employment, and healthcare. The court also directed the central and state governments to take steps to ensure that transgender individuals are not discriminated against and to provide them with equal opportunities and facilities. The judgement was a landmark decision that helped to advance the rights of transgender people in India and has been widely hailed as a step towards greater equality and inclusiveness.
In 2018, the Chandigarh High Court legalized homosexual acts between consenting adults. The court held that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized homosexuality, was unconstitutional and violated the fundamental rights of individuals to privacy, dignity, and freedom of expression and choice. The court stated that the provision was arbitrary and failed to recognize the diversity of Indian society and the rights of individuals to make their own choices. The judgement was a historic moment for the LGBTQ+ community in India and marked a significant step towards greater equality and non-discrimination. The judgement has been widely celebrated as a victory for human rights and individual freedom.
In 2017, the Chandigarh High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions. The court held that NEET was a legitimate exercise of the central government’s power to regulate medical education and to ensure standards of medical education and practice. The court noted that NEET aimed to standardize the admission process for medical courses across India and to eliminate the anomalies and corruption in the existing admission process. The judgement was seen as a positive step towards improving the quality of medical education in India and ensuring fair and transparent admission processes.