India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

Lawyer Anand Grover, who was representing Naz Foundation against Section 377, talks to the media after the Supreme Court verdict. The rule of law requires a just law which facilitates equality, liberty and dignity in all its facets.

Justice Chandrachud was addressing the 19 Annual Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Oration 2018 organised by the National Law University, Delhi (NLU-D).

The judgement also pronounced discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation a violation of freedom of expression, the India Today report said.

What Happened In The Court That Day?

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NEW DELHIIndia's Supreme Court on Thursday read down the archaic Section 377 of the India Penal Code, in a relief to millions of people across India. The Centre had said that the other aspects of the penal provision dealing with minors and animals should be allowed to remain in the statute book. He noted, "Human sexuality can not be confined to a binary". The justices penned down four separate but concurring judgments - one by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar, and one each by the other three judges. "I am proud to see modern India finally live up to the liberal values of our great ancestors in this regard". "It is not only about decriminalising but recognising our fundamental rights".

The word "landmark" was used generously today to described the Supreme Court's judgment decriminalising consensual gay sex, and - perhaps for the lack of a more ideal word - opened coverage by some of the world's most respected publications. Anti-section 377 activists then submitted a "curative petition" - a formal request to review an earlier court order perceived as a "miscarriage of justice" - and in 2016 the Supreme Court chose to revisit its ruling.

Their judgement said: "We declare that Section 377 of the IPC, insofar as it criminalizes consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21 [Right to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty], 14 [Right to Equality before Law] and 15 (Prohibition of Discrimination on Grounds of Religion, Race, Caste, Sex or Place of Birth) of the constitution".

LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community faced the stigma because of the criminality attached to consensual same-sex relationship, the bench had said.

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They had sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring Section 377 illegal and unconstitutional.

"The important point is not only about Section 377 but how you treat other minorities and whether you want to turn the country into a Hindu nation or whether you can use fundamental religious practices to discriminate against people", he said.

Welcoming the decision, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "Hope we move towards a more liberal, tolerant and inclusive society".

In 2011, the then Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a convention attended by former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and a host of other Union ministers, had said homosexuality is a "disease" and it is "unnatural".

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