Supreme Court Strikes Down Section 377, Decriminalizes Homosexualtiy

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chadrachud and Indu Malhotra had reserved its verdict on July 17 after hearing various stakeholders, including LGBTQIA+ rights activists, over four days. In 2009, the Delhi High Court described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. This Bench ripped apart the December 2013 judgment. She referred to the Indian Psychiatric Society's stand on homosexuality not being a mental disorder. "All prohibition is wrong".

India's Supreme Court on Thursday (Sep 6) struck down a colonial-era ban on gay sex that has been at the centre of years of legal battles.

The apex court, however, said other aspects of Section 377 of IPC dealing with unnatural sex with animals and children shall remain in force. Majoritarian views and popular morality can not dictate constitutional rights. Respect for each other's rights, and others are supreme humanity.

In July, the apex court heard the arguments on a batch of petitions demanding that this law be scrapped. Today five years down the line, the court is hearing the appeal against it once again and let's hope the verdict is just what we all want to hear.

The five petitioners had argued that Section 377 violates rights principles enshrined in the constitution, like equality before law, no discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and freedom of speech and expression. It further terms the coitus between two people of the same sex to be an "unnatural offence" and states that people found guilty can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.


"Human sexuality can not be reduced to a binary formulation and decriminalising Section 377 is but a first step". "Consensual sexual acts of adults are allowed for LGBT community".

Delivering the judgement, India's chief justice, Dipak Misra, said: "Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - can not be said to be unconstitutional".

This decision was then appealed in the Supreme Court via a review petition, and the last known status was that of a pending curative petition.

The writ petitions were opposed by Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Association and some other NGOs and individuals including Suresh Kumar Kaushal.


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