India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

06 September, 2018, 13:00 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Exclusive! Tusshar Kapoor on #Section377 We don’t need these archaic laws everyone must live happily

We will not let the "social fabric of the nation be destroyed", said Ajay Gautam, founder, Hum Hindu said ahead of the Supreme Court's ruling. He gave the example of "group sex" and said, "To what extent will they ask for liberty?"

India's top court has reversed a law from the colonial era that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Almost six weeks after the Supreme Court (SC) had reserved its verdict on the decriminalisation of homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the top court will today announce its verdict on the matter.

The Bench is led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprises Justices Rohinton F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. "The sustenance of identity is the pillar of life".

In July, the apex court heard the arguments on a batch of petitions demanding that this law be scrapped.

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"Section 377 is arbitrary".

The writ petitions were opposed by the Apostolic Alliance of Churches, Utkal Christian Association and some other NGOs and individuals including Suresh Kumar Kaushal who had also challenged the 2009 verdict of the high court in the apex court.

In 2016, 2,187 cases were registered under Section 377 under the category of "unnatural offences".

Talking to The Logical Indian, one of the petitioners from IIT, Balachandra Ramiah said that this time they are hopeful that the court might make a landmark judgement by the end of the hearing. "Those are individual issues we can not pre-judge now". Let us get out of this maze.

"It could have come from the Bible or any other religious text".

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

In 2009, the Delhi high court had read down the section, calling it a "violation of fundamental rights".

► Sexual orientation is one of many biological phenomenon. The LGBT community has welcomed the verdict.

Dating back to the British era of mid-1800's, this colonial legacy was passed onto India by our colonisers. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the government will be leaving the decision to the court, but asked that the court not rule on related matters such as marriage rights for the LGBT community. The court would decide whether the section that criminalised sexual relations between same gender adults would be valid or not.

Equal rights activists had argued that the very existence of such a law was proof of discrimination based on sexual orientation. With this fresh hearing, the petitioners hope that the tag of a criminal which has unjustly been forced upon the members of the community will finally be removed.

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