In a landmark and historic judgement, the Supreme Court today (Sep 6) decriminalized consensual sex between homosexuals, stating in the verdict that “Section 377 can’t punish gay sex between consenting adults”.
The judgement to decriminalize Section 377 was made unanimously by a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
“Section 377 is irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible as it fetters the right to equality for LGBT community. LGBT community possesses same equality as other citizens,” CJI Dipak Mishra stated in his verdict.
The apex court further stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and that Section 377 of IPC was weapon to harass members of LGBT community, resulting in discrimination.
The Delhi High Court had in 2009 decriminalized homosexuality between two consenting adults but the verdict was overturned by the Supreme Court. A Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Dipak Mishra in January 2018 stated that the 2013 verdict will be reconsidered, paving the way for filing of fresh petitions that culminated in today’s verdict.
The verdict by the Supreme Court has been welcomed by the LGBT community across the country.