Rainbow of hope: Supreme Court set to revisit gay sex criminality

Rainbow of hope: Supreme Court set to revisit gay sex criminality

The judgment said, "We hold that Section 377 does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and the declaration made by the division bench of the High Court is legally unsustainable".

Last June, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of the law, reversing a lower court decision by Judge Carlton W. Reeves blocking the law. "Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's decision today leaves LGBT people in MS in the crosshairs of hate and humiliation, delaying justice and equality". Later, in 2012, the Supreme Court overturned the decision.

Section 377 of the IPC refers to "unnatural offences" and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. "The time has come that either the courts must read down Section 377 or the government should repeal it from the IPC". In addition to the advocacy and discussion that followed that setback, subsequent rulings in favor of transgender equality and, most recently, establishing privacy as a fundamental right have help set the stage for the Court to revisit the law. Several supreme court judges noted that sexual orientation fell under the privacy umbrella. The SC decision will definitely strengthen arguments for decriminalisation of homosexuality. "Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law, but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution", the bench observed.

SC has also issues notice to the Centre seeking response on a writ petition filed by five members of LGBT community, who say they live in fear of Police due to their natural sexual preferences, according to new agency ANI.

The Supreme Court today announced a review of the controversial ban on gay sex saying no one should have to live in fear due to their sexuality.

All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev also welcomed the top court's decision saying,"Everybody has equal right to live life the way they want".

"Those who haven't been and won't be harmed by this law shouldn't be allowed to restrict freedom for others by ensuring dissenters are left open to the government discrimination that has already occurred in states without protective laws like this one".

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