India Supreme Court decriminalises homosexuality

Glen Norman
September 10, 2018

Justice Malhotra reportedly said that history owed an apology to the members of the LGBT community and their families for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra unanimously held that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community possess the same constitutional rights as other citizens of the country.

CJI Misra, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice Khanwilkar, said the denial of self-expression was akin to inviting death.

Several individuals and LGBTQ rights groups then petitioned the Supreme Court to review that decision, saying members of the community lived in fear of being prosecuted.

The primary objective of having a constitutional society is to transform the society progressively; Constitutional provisions should not be interpreted in the literal sense.

"Sexual orientation is one of many biological phenomenon".


That case was strengthened a year ago, when the Supreme Court moved to uphold the constitutional right to privacy, including for the LGBT community.

"So proud today! Decriminalizing homosexuality and abolishing section 377 is a huge thumb up for humanity and equal rights!"

"Social stigma will go if criminality of gay sex under Section 377 goes".

"Private acts between consenting adults is something which no government should have criminalised as unfortunately we have done", he said. What happened to the fate of this curative petition and how a new writ petition was entertained and under what rules and circumstances a new constitution bench was created. Make way for the progressive realisation of social and economic rights and to begin a dialogue for ensuring individual rights reports, have to bid adieu to perception stereotypes. No one can escape from their individuality.

Justice Chandrachud was speaking on the topic, "Rule of Law in Constitutional Democracy", at the 19th Annual Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Oration 2018, organised by National Law University, Delhi. Additionally, the paradox lies in the fact that people belonging to the LGBTQ community have been routinely denied personal liberty even after the Supreme Court in 2017 passed the landmark judgement that made the right to privacy a fundamental right.

"Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of speech and expression", said Chief Justice of India Misra and Justice Khanwilka in their judgment.


'It is not only about decriminalising but recognising our fundamental rights, ' Akhilesh Godi, one of the petitioners in the case, told Reuters shortly before the judgement was announced.

"We will rise together". "Now we have the legal rights". We will be together.

Section 377 has always been the reason to cause a stir in the society. "Decriminalisation is but the first step; the constitution envisages much more".

"We want everyone to know we exist in Shillong and they should not be afraid to come out in the open and face the world", Massar said. "Now we can walk toward equality in this country". "Sometimes, the government passes the crucial matter to courts and sometimes judiciary too directs the government to take important decisions".

The apex court also said India was a signatory of global treaties on rights of LGBTQ and it was obligatory to adhere to them.


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