Supreme Court Scraps Section 377; 'Majoritarian Views Cannot Dictate Rights,' Says CJI

by Abel Hampton September 6, 2018, 13:00
Supreme Court Scraps Section 377; 'Majoritarian Views Cannot Dictate Rights,' Says CJI

In 2009, the Delhi High Court had ruled in favour of decriminalising section 377 - a decision which was overturned only to by a two-judge Supreme Court bench in 2013.

Members of the LGBT community cried and hugged each other as news of the verdict reached them.

► "No one can escape from their individualism".

India has overturned a law banning 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.

Latest reports have said that the Supreme Court verdict will be delayed at least by 30 minutes.

Also read: Section 377 verdict - Can we start calling the CJI the CEO of India?

"The law had become a weapon for harassment for the LGBT community", Chief Justice Dipak Misra said as he announced the landmark verdict.

In addition to this, four new petitions were filed before May 2018 on behalf of Arif Jaffer, who was incarcerated for 47 days under Section 377, Ashok Row Kavi, Keshav Suri and Anwesh Pokkuluri.

Passing the buck, the centre had put the onus of deciding the fate of Section 377 on the Supreme Court, with the latter indicating that it was planning to do away with the sections that criminalised homosexuality.

"Human sexuality can not be confined to a binary".

Denial of right to sexual orientation is denial of privacy rights. "What is unnatural? It can be between a man and man and also between a man and a woman".

Equal rights campaigners have also argued that the very existence of such a law is proof of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"Section 377 to the extent it criminalizes sexual acts between consenting adults, whether homosexual or hetrosexual, is unconstitutional".

This was after the centre had told the Supreme Court that it would not take a stand on the issue but would, instead, leave it to the "wisdom" of the top court of the country.

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

The Constitution Bench hearing in the Section 377 case began on July 10, with Justice Chandrachud orally observing that a person's choice of a partner is a fundamental right to life, and a "partner" includes same sex partner.

The writ petitions were opposed by Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Association and some other NGOs and individuals including Suresh Kumar Kaushal.

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