In what is being termed as a landmark and historic judgement the Indian Supreme Court on Thursday observing sexual orientation as natural where people had no control over it, ruled that consensual adult gay sex is not a crime.
This ruling of the constitutional bench of Supreme Court, quashed the Raj-era law of section 377 under Indian Penal Code (IPC) that considered gay sex as being a punishable offence.
After the judgement consensual adult gay sex in private is now no longer a punishable offence under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Supreme Court in its judgment observed, “Consensual sex between adults in a private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice. Section 377 results in discrimination and is violative of constitutional principles.”
India’s apex court’s five-judge Constitution bench – comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra – were unanimous in its decision, reported sources.
Dipak Misra (CJI) opined that Section 377 of Indian Penal Code was irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible because it fettered the right to equality for the LGBT community… He said, “LGBT community possesses same equality as other citizens.”
Elaborating the judgement Justice Khanwilkar and CJI Dipak Misra also observed, “Social morality cannot violate the rights of even one single individual.”
Dipak Misra CJI also added, “The right to privacy as part of right to life applies fully to the LGBT community.” The bench even stressed that the society should apologise to the LGBT community for denying them this right for so long.
Welcoming the judgement LGBT rights activists and founder of Humsafar Trust, Ashok Row opined to a news daily, “We have finally got justice. We are finally ‘azaad in azaad Hind’.”
Immediately after the judgement came out, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who had been supporting the LGBT community hailed the verdict and twitted, “So pleased to learn that the SupremeCourt has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377& on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity &constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS.”
Furthermore, not only Tharoor various other celebrities took to their social media handle and welcomed the verdict.
In one such tweet Amir Khan said, “We thank the Supreme Court for its decision to strike down article 377. It is a historic day for people who believe in equal rights for all. The judiciary has done its duty, and now we must do ours (sic).”