SC to review Section 377: LGBTQI+ community welcomes move

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to reconsider its earlier judgement.
SC to review Section 377: LGBTQI+ community welcomes move
SC to review Section 377: LGBTQI+ community welcomes move
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The Supreme Court on Monday said it will re-examine its verdict upholding Section 377 of the IPC that criminalises gay sex.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, and DY Chandrachud decided to re-examine the top court's earlier order upholding section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

"Our earlier order needs to be reconsidered," said Justice Misra on Monday. 

The bench agreed to reconsider the two-judge Supreme Court judgement in the Suresh Kumar Kaushal Vs Naz Foundation case.

The court order came on a petition filed by 10 individuals, who said that IPC section 377 was "violative of fundamental rights under Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 21 (right to life)".

According to LiveLaw, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar, the advocates for the petitioners, said that the petitioners’ “rights to sexuality, sexual autonomy, choice of sexual partner, life, privacy, dignity and equality, along with the other Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution, were infringed by Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.”

"Societal morality changes with time, law walks with life. A section of people can't live in fear of their individual choice," the bench said. 

The court has also issued a notice to the Centre. It sought a response to a writ petition filed by five members of the LGBTQ community. In their writ petition, the said that they live in fear of the police because of their natural sexual preferences.

While referring the matter to a larger bench, the court observed: "what is natural to one may not be natural to others".

The Supreme Court had earlier set aside a Delhi High Court verdict, which had decriminalized gay sex.

The law, as it currently stands, states that “Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life], or with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”.

(With IANS inputs)

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