Section 377 verdict: Supreme Court declares homosexuality is no longer a crime in India

Section 377 verdict: In India’s journey towards being a woke nation, today’s events play an important role. In a landmark, progressive judgement, the Supreme Court has just decriminalised homosexuality by repealing Section 377. “Progressive and pragmatic view should be taken by the court to come to the rescue of the oppressed section of society. The law must be interpreted as per the requirement of changing times”, said the Supreme Court. The five-judge constitution bench was headed by Chief Justice of India, Deepak Misra. The decision, notably, was an unanimous one.  

Until now, Section 377 criminalised homosexuality, which means consenting adults were not legally free to engage in intercourse. Though the law was seldom used, members from the LGBT community were often subjected to harassment and discrimination because of it. 

Section 377 has been a point of contention for several years and the journey to get it repealed has been long and arduous. In 2001, NAZ foundation filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Section 377. In 2009, the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of decriminalising section 377, only to be overturned by a two-judge Supreme Court bench in 2013.

Last year, the LGBT community was full of hope as the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy. “Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy. Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual,” read the watershed judgement. The current ruling comes after several petitioners challenged the law, among whom are notable personalities like Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur. 

Apart from social activists, many Bollywood personalities too have lent their support to the LGBT community. 

 

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Take a look at all the times Bollywood stood up for LGBT rights:

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