India’s Supreme Court hears arguments against law criminalizing homosexuality

India’s Supreme Court hears arguments against law criminalizing homosexuality

India’s Supreme Court hears arguments against law criminalizing homosexuality

"It affects the basic constitutional and human rights of a large section of society, called the sexual minority", the court said about the 2013 verdict. They constitute the essence of liberty and freedom. The 2017 landmark judgement on privacy observed, "sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy". "Equal protection demands protection of the identity of every individual without discrimination", the nine-judge bench had said.

During the pendency of the curative petitions, the plea was made that an open court hearing should be granted and after the apex court agreed to it, several fresh writ petitions were filed seeking decriminalisation of Section 377. What is the order of nature that can change with the passage of time.

Chief Justice Misra said: "We will decide whether consensual sex between two consenting adults is a crime or not".

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"What is the order of nature in 1860 can't be the order of nature today". It has been illegal in India since Section 377 of an 1861 law - introduced under British colonial rule - banned sexual activity "against the order of nature", including with another man or woman. The top court had placed the onus on Parliament, saying only the legislature can scrap or change laws.

The bench further added: "What is natural to one may not be natural to the other but the said natural orientation and choice can not be allowed to cross the boundaries of law and as the confines of law can not tamper or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution".

This, said the supreme court lawyer Suraj Sanap, who represents some of the petitioners, means the path has been cleared for a ruling legalising gay sex. On their dismissal, curative petitions were filed by the affected parties seeking re-examination of the original verdict. The other plea in this case is the batch of appeals filed by the six noted personalities. The petitioners, also comprising members of LGBT community, contend that "right to sexuality" and "right to choice of a sexual partner" are fundamental rights protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.

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"Section 377 criminalises a core part of a person's identity exclusively on account of his or her sexuality".

"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 without 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". "In fact it violates the fundamental right of every Indian".

"In the Hadiya judgment, the right to choose a partner was held to be part of right to life under Article 21".

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