Homosexuality No Longer A Crime, Rules Supreme Court On Section 377

Supreme Court decriminalises consensual gay sex

Supreme Court decriminalises consensual gay sex

"Majoritarian views and popular views can not dictate constitutional rights".

Gay sex among consenting adults is not an offence, the Supreme Court said on as it read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had reserved its verdict on July 17 after hearing various stakeholders, including gay rights activists. "You can not impose your sexual orientation on others without their consent", the top court had said while allaying apprehensions of those opposed to the decriminalisation of the penal provision. But Chief Justice Misra finally observed that the Bench should first decide the question of the constitutionality of Section 377. In the same vein, at the core of identity, lies self determination. Our Constitution is a dynamic document.

► "No one can escape from their individualism".

"Certain sections of our society have been living in shackles of exclusion". Have to vanquish prejudice and embrace inclusion and ensure equal rights. Chief Justice of India said that the LGBT community posses rights like others.

"Mental Healthcare Act has been discussed and recognition has happened even by the Parliament that homosexuality is not a mental disorder", Justice Nariman said. It also asked the Centre to include them in the OBC quota. The offence is punishable with imprisonment upto life. Apart from beastiality, it criminalises any sexual act between people of any gender that isn't heterosexual penile-vaginal sex.

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Section 377 of the IPC criminalises unnatural sex between two individuals. Both the petitions were dismissed in the court. Similarly, with the Supreme Court ratifying the Right To Privacy, consensual private intercourse could be argued to be a private matter of an individual. The majority ruling will decide whether the constitutional validity of section 377 of the IPC can be upheld. The Additional Solicitor General told the court that if it meant to touch on other issues like same-sex marriage, then the Centre will file another detailed affidavit. They have sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring section 377 of IPC as illegal and unconstitutional.

Additional solicitor general of India, Tushar Mehta, had also countered arguments in favour of decriminalizing homosexuality, stating that "it might lead to a possible challenge to prohibition against incestuous relations under personal laws".

Despite several curative petitions being filed subsequently, the court never listed it for hearing until recently.

Reading clauses (1) and (2) of Article 13 together, he argued that if section 377 was introduced in present day, it would not stand the test of Part III of the Constitution, and hence, the provision, as enacted in 1860, could not either.

NALSA - rights recognized including life with dignity.

It also said that the section was in contravention to Articles 14 and 15, which guarantee equality and prohibit discrimination.

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