Supreme Court Strikes Down Section 377, Decriminalizes Homosexualtiy
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Sep 06, 2018,
Sep 06, 2018, 12:57
It had said that the other aspects of the penal provision dealing with minors and animals should be allowed to remain in the statute book.
Several individuals and LGBTQ rights groups then petitioned the Supreme Court to review that decision, saying members of the community lived in fear of being prosecuted. "No one can escape from their individuality".
A five-judge bench in India's Supreme Court was unanimous in overturning the ban.
A five-judge Supreme Court Constitution bench on Thursday unanimously decriminalised consensual gay sex.
The top court's verdict was previously set to be delivered on July 17, but on that day, it made a decision to reserve its verdict. Respect for each other's rights, and others are supreme humanity.
A petition against the regressive Section 377 was heard by a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
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"Section 377 inflicts tragedy and anguish; it has to be remedied".
The SC ruled in August 2017 that every individual has a fundamental right to privacy, which is a part of the right to life and sex is private. The Apex Court had also clubbed together another a 2016 petition filed by activist Akkai Padmashali which pertains to rights of transgender persons.
It was briefly overturned in 2009, but the Supreme Court reinstated it in 2013.
"Human sexuality can not be reduced to a binary formulation and decriminalising Section 377 is but a first step". It further terms the coitus between two people of the same sex to be an "unnatural offence" and states that people found guilty can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
"We are exclusively on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman".
Equal rights campaigners have also argued that the very existence of such a law is proof of discrimination based on sexual orientation. The court would decide whether the section that criminalised sexual relations between same gender adults would be valid or not.
Advocate Manoj George, appearing on behalf of two Christian associations, had also criticised the "U-turn" resorted to by the Centre in the present batch of petitions, considering its earlier stand in Suresh Kumar Kaushal.