The landmark judgment by Supreme Court on September 6 declares Section 377 of the IPC as unconstitutional, which criminalized homosexuality. Bestiality will however continue to be an offence.
A five-judge Constitution bench, comprising of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justices D Y Chandrachud, Rohinton Fali Nariman, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, issued the verdict on a bunch of pleas filed to scrap the law.
CJI said that LGBT community has the same rights like other members of society.
“There must be a time to end historical discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and choice and that time is now,” Justice DY Chandrachud said in his judgment.
He added, “This case is much more than just decriminalising a provision. It is about an aspiration to realize the constitutional rights and equal existence of the LGBT community as other citizens.”
Ashok Row Kavi, LGBT rights activist and founder of Humsafar Trust said, “We have finally got justice. We are finally ‘azaad in azaad Hind’.”
“We join the people of India & the LGBTQIA+ community in their victory over prejudice. We welcome the progressive & decisive verdict from the Supreme Court & hope this is the beginning of a more equal & inclusive society,” Indian National Congress tweeted.
The ban on gay sex was challenged by five high-profile petitioners, including Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, restaurateur Ritu Dalmia, Neemrana hotel chain co-founder Aman Nath and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur.