Section 377: Supreme Court reserves verdict on pleas, asks parties to file written submissions

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra concluded hearing the arguments on the contentious issue after detailed hearing of four days, which had commenced on July 10.

Published: 17th July 2018 04:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2018 03:55 AM   |  A+A-

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File Image of a Gay Pride March for representational purposes. | Express Photo Services

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas seeking scrapping of Section 377, which criminalises same sex acts and said that it was their fundamental duty to strike down a provision the moment they spotted it as unconstitutional.

“We would not wait for the majoritarian government to enact, amend or not to enact any law to deal with violations of fundamental rights,” a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed.
The bench gave another indication that it would declare that Section 377 violates the right under Article 21 of the LGBTQ community to sexuality, sexual orientation and choice of sexual partner, when Justice RF Nariman said, “If Section 377 of the IPC goes away entirely, there will be anarchy. We are solely on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman. Consent is the fulcrum here. You cannot impose your sexual orientation on others without their consent.”

Justice Nariman added that the whole objective of the fundamental rights was to empower the court to strike down laws like Section 377.The observations came when lawyer Shyam George, appearing for Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Association, said that it was not the job of the court and it was for the legislature to decide whether to enact or amend the existing law. George added that unnatural sexual activity was against the order of nature.

“What is the ‘order of nature’? Is it only ‘order of nature’ if sex is meant for procreation? Every sexual act which does not lead to procreation is against the order of nature for you,” the bench asked.

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