Exactly two years after a Supreme Court ruling in December 2013 upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizing homosexuality, a civil rights group has submitted a petition on Friday, calling for its annulment.
The ‘Coalition for Sex Worker and Sexual Minority Rights’ has written a petition to PM Modi, the union home minister and the minister of law and justice, seeking abolition of the law.
The petition demands the government to
· introduce a bill in parliament to repeal Section 377
· amend Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code so that protection from rape is extended to all persons, regardless of gender or sexuality, in line with the Justice Verma Committee recommendations.
The civil rights group has mentioned how the present law is abused, to harass people belonging to the LGBT community and how it is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court’s decision came after the Delhi High Court in 2009 ruled that the law which criminalizes sex between consenting adult homosexuals, was unconstitutional.
The apex court overruled the judgement after hearing a PIL from various religious groups and said that parliamentarians should decide on repealing the law through legislation.
The petition also states how opposition parties, the Law Commission are for the abolishment of the law and even mentions some iconic verdicts of the past.
Recently on November 28, speaking at the Times Litfest, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his predecessor P Chidambaram spoke along the same lines in support of the LGBT community.