Supreme Court decriminalises homosexuality

In a landmark judgement, after months of deliberations, the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalised homosexuality.

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Rohinton Fali Nariman, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, issued the verdict on a bunch of petitions filed to scrap the law. The bench had earlier reserved its verdict on July 17.

Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible, observed the CJI while delivering the verdict. The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community has same rights as any other citizen, the CJI added. Respect for each other’s rights, and others are supreme humanity, observed the bench unanimously, while saying that right to live with dignity is right.

Known as Section 377 of the IPC, the 157-year-old law criminalised certain sexual acts, terming them as ‘unnatural offences’, punishable by a 10-year jail term.

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