India high court throws out law prohibiting gay sex in unanimous ruling

India high court throws out law prohibiting gay sex in unanimous ruling

He also described today's judgment of the Supreme Court as anti-Indian civilization and said that he shall mobilize the Members of the Parliament also in this regard.

Others who have filed petitions against section 377 are journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur.

CJI Misra and Justices Nariman, Chandrachud and Malhotra delivered separate, concurring judgments.

"Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - can not be said to be unconstitutional", said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, as he read out the judgment.

"The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court's ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons".

Justice Chandrachud was addressing the 19 Annual Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Oration 2018 organised by the National Law University, Delhi (NLU-D).

In 2016, when the court agreed to hear the section 377 petition once more, three senior judges said they felt the issue was a "matter of constitutional importance".

What Happened In The Court That Day?

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In its 493-page judgment, the bench said aspects of section 377 dealing with unnatural sex with animals and children remain in force. "That we can do by saying, as I propose to say in this case, that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders have a constitutional right to equal citizenship in all its manifestations", he wrote, supporting partial striking down of Section 377. "The veil of social morality can not be used to violate fundamental rights of even a single individual, for the foundation of constitutional morality rests upon the recognition of diversity that pervades the society", CJI Misra ruled. He noted, "Human sexuality can not be confined to a binary". "Society is now better for individualism", according to the India Today report.

In a landmark decision for LGBTQ rights and the community in India, the country's highest court has decriminalised gay sex.

"Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - can not be said to be unconstitutional", said Misra, as he read out the judgement.

Activists have frequently said that the law has been used to harass members of the country's gay and transgender communities.

They had sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring section 377, enacted 158 years ago, illegal and unconstitutional.

While concluding the historic 493-page verdict, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who headed the constitution bench, said it was time to move from "darkness to light" to herald a New India which would be a more inclusive society. He said his partner will join him in the evening to celebrate and "for the first time in our relationship we will be spending the time as normal human beings, not criminals".

Section 377 "completely violates the human right to have the freedom to fall in love", he said.

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