At long last, the Central government has clarified its stance on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
The petitioners contend that their rights to sexuality, sexual autonomy, choice of sexual partner, life, privacy, dignity and equality, along with the other fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, were infringed by Section 377.
Read Also: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is third most followed leader on Twitter, US President Donald Trump leads The constitution bench today commenced hearing in the matter.
After the apex court had set aside the Delhi High Court's 2009 judgement decriminalising sex between consenting adults of the same sex by holding Section 377 of IPC as 'illegal, ' review petitions were filed. The determination of order of nature is not a constant phenomenon.
If the court determines that Section 377 violates the country's constitution, it would extend new LGBTQ protections across the world's second most-populous country.More news: Thailand football team won't attend World Cup final
In May, the apex court made a decision to hear the plea filed by the Indian Institute of Technology's LGBT alumni association, seeking scrapping of Section 377.
As it stands, Section 377 of the colonial-era law says whoever has carnal intercourse "against the order of nature" with any man, woman or animal, will be punished with imprisonment for life.
When the CJI said "we may begin this experiment from hear, the A-G K.K. Venugopal agreed and said the experiment must start soon from the CJI's court and depending upon its functioning for a month, it can be extended to other court halls in the apex court". "We got calls from parents, concerned about what would happen to their children".
It was on the petition filed by the Naaz Foundation that the Delhi High Court had decriminalised section 377 of the IPC, which was challenged in the apex court by some individuals and religious organisations. We cannot now give an advance ruling on questions like inheritance to live-in partners, whether they can marry, etc.
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Tuesday pleaded that the petitioners should restrict their arguments only to constitutional validity of Section 377.More news: France progress to World Cup final with 1-0 win over Belgium
The bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, however, refused and listed it for today.
Dispelling the apprehensions of the Centre, he said: "We can't judge an issue in a vacuum", thereby telling Mehta that the issue of other rights of LGBT community was not before the bench.
The campaign for decriminalising gay sex also been bolstered by a supreme court ruling in August previous year, which ruled that privacy, including a person's sexuality, was a fundamental right.
"I want to be able to make sure that every citizen in this country has the right to choose their sexual orientation as a consenting adult". The court will likely resume the hearing on Wednesday.More news: George Clooney Rushed to Hospital After Scooter Accident In Italy
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