India's Supreme Court ends colonial-era ban on gay sex

Exclusive! Tusshar Kapoor on #Section377 We don’t need these archaic laws everyone must live happily

A five-bench judge, headed by CJI Deepak Mishra will sit for deciding the verdict 10.30 am. However, certain clauses of the Section 377 like unnatural sex with animals or children are still in place.

Read | What is Section 377? "It happened because Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley were of the view that section 377 should be decriminalized and the party should not be a hindrance in the process", said a senior BJP leader in the know of the development.

The law punishes, in its own words, "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal". Its' review application was dismissed also by the Supreme Court.

Justice Chandrachud was one of the judges in that ruling as well.

The judgment came on a batch of writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur as well as 20 former and current students of the IITs. In the judgement on privacy as a fundamental right, the apex court's nine-judge bench had said the right to privacy can not be denied to members of the LGBT community merely because they have unconventional sexual orientation and form a miniscule fraction of the over 1.32 billion Indian population. "Human instinct to love has been constrained".

The judgment also said that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter for the Parliament. "That we can do by saying, as I propose to say in this case, that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders have a constitutional right to equal citizenship in all its manifestations", he wrote, supporting partial striking down of Section 377.

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"Treatment of homosexuality as a disorder/ disease has a severe impact on the mental health of such persons".

Justice DY Chandrachud, said "It is hard to right the wrongs of history".

"Any discrimination on this basis is unconstitutional".

"Justice Chandrachud, according to The Hindu, questioned the meaning of the phrase "order of nature" in Section 377 and said: "[The] State can not decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not. Let us get out of this maze.

Even as the community celebrates, it will have to gear up for other battles, said another gay rights activist, Ruth Chawngthu."A lot of people think that this is the end and everyone is going to have rights now, marriage, equality and whatever, but this not the end, this is just the beginning and we have a long way to go".

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.

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"Private acts between consenting adults is something which no government should have criminalised as unfortunately we have done", he said. "(Under Articles 14, 19, 21) Consent must mean free consent". "Sexual relations are a sacred part of this bond". It said the State can not persecute people and decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not, holding that Section 377 IPC was based on "deep-rooted stereotypes of the society" that was violative of fundamental rights to equality and life with dignity. "Counselling practice will have to focus on de-stigmatising homosexuality, that reflects current medical opinion". Many sections continue to suffer exclusions due to stereotypes. "They calls us names, they tease us, they bully us, so it is still very prevalent".

Justice Nariman asked the government and the media to give wide publicity to the verdict so that the LGBTQ community does not face any further discrimination.

"Sustenance of identity is the pyramid of life", CJI Misra added.

Celebrations at the Lalit hotel. Five years ago the court upheld the law, and the Washington Post reports that since then there's been a large campaign to bring attention to gay rights, including gay pride parades in more than 30 cities, as well as public protests regarding Section 377. Police should be sensitised too.

Bollywood flim maker Karan Johar has reacted to the veridct scrapping section 377. So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The members of this community have constitutional rights like that of any other citizen, he said. "This is about human rights".

The SC has decrimalised Section 377 in India, which was established in 1861 under the British rule.

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