Section 377 of Indian constitution that deals with “unnatural” sexual acts against the order of nature, has been a bone of contention for many years in the court of law. It criminalises homosexual relations and makes it a punishable offence with a lifetime of imprisonment. The law dates back to the British colonial era and is obsolete today.
But in a revolutionary manner, Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex today. A bench of five judges, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra sat together and arrived at the conclusion. This is not the first time that section 377 has been repealed by the Supreme Court. In 2009, Delhi High Court had overturned the 150-year-old law and legalised consensual homosexual activities between adults.
But in a major letdown after 4 years, a supreme court case overturned the 2009 ruling by the Delhi High Court and reinstated section 377, making homosexuality a crime in India once again. Ever Since then, many LGBT activists and associations have been working hard and filing petitions against section 377. Many known personalities have argues that provisions of section 377 violate Acts 21, 14 and 15 of the constitution.
In 2017, the Supreme Court declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right of Indian citizens. This stimulated a petition to review section 377 in the light of making right to sexual orientation a fundamental right. But today the Supreme Court has re-written history. In a revolutionary decision, the Supreme Court ruled out that discriminating against an individual on the basis of his/her sexual orientation is a violation of human rights.
“Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression, Supreme Court,” the court said.
Supreme Court’s decision has made India proud and it comes as a boon for the LGBT community. Bollywood stars like Karan Johar and Arjun Kapoor came forward and Tweeted about the same.