Indian supreme court starts hearing on decriminalising gay sex

At a time when countries all over the world were passing progressive laws that upheld the rights of the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, the Supreme Court in its 2013 judgement quashed the aspirations of many who have been through hell. She feels love can't be differentiated on the basis of sex and a law has no right to put two people apart just because they see it as an "offence".

The petitioners contend that their rights to sexuality, sexual autonomy, choice of sexual partner, life, privacy, dignity and equality, along with the other fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, were infringed by Section 377. We will not adjourn the matter.

In taking up the petitions, the Supreme Court will look at reconsidering its judgement from 2013, when it set aside a 2009 order by the Delhi High Court decriminalising homosexuality. Was it the order of nature in 1860? He said "pre-constitutional law like section 377" will have to go as it does not conform to the Constitution.

Section 377 refers to "unnatural offences" and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse "against the order of nature" with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. "Those are individual issues we can not pre-judge now", Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said.

The internet is waiting to hear the Supreme Court verdict which has now been pushed to tomorrow. They should get jobs on merit, but we can not allow them to celebrate. "I am not appearing now as the Attorney General", he told.

"Let court decide, leave decision to wisdom of court", said the Centre in the affidavit it submitted to the SC via additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who's appearing for the Centre.

He argued that the LGBT community accounted for a large section of the country's population whose right of sexual orientation was protected under Article 21 that relates to life and personal liberty. "In the most respectful submission of the Union of India, allowing any other issue (other than constitutional validity of Section 377) to be argued and adjudicating the same with giving an opportunity to the Union of India to file a counter affidavit to the Union of India may not be in the interest of justice and would be violative of principles of natural justice", the Centre's affidavit said.

Emboldened by the historic apex court judgment that declared privacy as a fundamental right in 2017, celebrities and prominent personalities filed a batch of pleas seeking to assert their right and choice of sexual orientation. The court will likely resume the hearing on Wednesday.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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