India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

Adjust Comment Print

Clearing the air on the matter, judgment by Justice Indu Malhotra says "Reading down of Section 377 shall not, however, lead to the reopening of any concluded prosecutions, but can certainly be relied upon in all pending matters whether they are at the trial, appellate, or revisional stages".

Equal rights activists had argued that the very existence of such a law was proof of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Constitution Bench judgment will decide whether the December 2013 verdict of the Supreme Court in the Suresh Koushal case, which had upheld Section 377 and dismissed the LGBT community as a negligible part of the population while denying them the right of choice and sexual orientation, will prevail or not. "Such discriminatory laws have no place in the 21st century, and I'm delighted the Indian Supreme Court has recognised that".

While the LGBTQ community won a battle that lasted decades, the question now is whether the judgment would pave the way for same sex marriage.

Section 377 of the IPC is a colonial-era law which came into effect in 1862 and was struck down by the apex court.

Justice DY Chandrachud, who also wrote a concurring judgement, said according the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, "74 countries criminalise same-sex sexual conduct, as of 2017".

"Justice Chandrachud, according to The Hindu, questioned the meaning of the phrase "order of nature" in Section 377 and said: "[The] State can not decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not.

The court said that sexual orientation of an indiviual was a biological phenomenon and any discrimination on such grounds violates the fundamental rights of the individual. He said his partner will join him in the evening to celebrate and "for the first time in our relationship we will be spending the time as normal human beings, not criminals".

Rapper dead at 26 of apparent overdose
The artist is also known for dating singer Ariana Grande before her engagement with SNL cast member Pete Davidson . Shortly after his auto accident and arrest that same month, Grande tweeted "pls take care of yourself".

It is a 157-year-old colonial-era law which criminalises certain sexual acts as "unnatural offences" that are punishable by a 10-year jail term. It said the State can not persecute people and decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not, holding that Section 377 IPC was based on "deep-rooted stereotypes of the society" that was violative of fundamental rights to equality and life with dignity.

The verdict was met with jubilation across the country, with gay rights activists erupting in celebration right outside the courtroom.

Modi's administration had initially opposed dismantling Section 377, though in July government lawyers said they would give in to the "wisdom" of the top court. He further added that homosexuals have full right to live with dignity as others.

"How strongly must you love knowing that you are unconvicted felons under Section 377?" she asked. Make way for the progressive realisation of social and economic rights and to begin a dialogue for ensuring individual rights reports, have to bid adieu to perception stereotypes.

Supporters of the campaign to scrap the ban milled around the Supreme Court before the verdict and cheered the decision, hugging one another and waving rainbow flags.

The unanimous judgment was authored by four out of the five judges on the bench.

Arun Kumar, a spokesman for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said Indian society "traditionally does not recognise" gay relationships, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. "This is the first battle that has been won and there are many more battles that we are going to fight".

In 2009, a court in the capital New Delhi had already repealed the law, but the highest court reinstated it as a criminal offense in 2013, following pressure from religious groups.

Comments