Historical Judgement : Gay sex is not a crime, says Supreme Court.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, on 6 September, unanimously read down the British-era law which criminalised consensual homosexual sex in India.

While reading his judgment on Section 377 of the IPC, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra noted, “I am what I am. So take me as I am. No one can escape from their individuality”.

“Certain sections of our society have been living in shackles of exclusion. Have to vanquish prejudice and embrace inclusion and ensure equal rights. Prejudices are deeply ingrained in society,” Justice Dipak Misra said. “Majoritarian views and popular views cannot dictate constitutional rights. LGBT community possess human rights like all other sections of society. Equality is essence of constitution. 377 is arbitrary,” he said.

Justice Nariman quoted the NALSA and Puttaswamy judgments and said, “Private acts of individuals is not the law’s domain.”

“Mental Healthcare Act has been discussed and recognition has happened even by the Parliament that homosexuality is not a mental disorder,” Justice Nariman said. He also discussed Yogyakarta principles and said that they will directly apply here.

Section 377 crimalises anal and oral sex, and claims that it goes against ‘the order of nature with any man, woman or animal’. The maximum punishment under this law is life imprisonment. Section 377 was first introduced in India in the 1800s. Apart from beastiality, it criminalises any sexual act between people of any gender that isn’t heterosexual penile-vaginal sex. Therefore, even consensual same sex relations between two adults is deemed criminal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *