The Supreme Court could reconsider its stance on the section 377 of IPC, according to which Homosexuality is considered criminal offence in India, with a larger bench of judges. This could be a step forward for the LGBTQ community, as with the Privacy being deemed a fundamental right of a person, the Supreme Court that stated that the sexual orientation of a person is their private choice and should not be criminalized. The three-judge bench, which was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, has commented on the situation of the section 377, which criminalizes any sexual activity that are against the order of nature, which includes Homosexuality, to the detriment of the community.
“A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear. Choice can’t be allowed to cross boundaries of law but confines of can’t trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Art 21 of Constitution.”
Along with the announcement, the court also issued a notice to the center asking for its answer to the petition that has been filed by 5 members belonging to the LGBT community. The group has said that they have to live in fear because of their sexual orientation.
In 2009, the High Court, in a landmark decision, had decided to decriminalize section377, but in 2013, it was tacked on again by a bench that consisted of G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadaya. Then, in August 2017, the court made the decision about the right to privacy, stating, “right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution”. If the Section 377 is decriminalized again, it could be a hopeful decision for the LGBTQ community, who have confessed of living with a sense of fear in their own country because of their sexual preferences.
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