Section 377 verdict: SC to decide on validity of criminalising same sex relations shortly

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had reserved its verdict on July 17 after hearing various stakeholders, including gay rights activists.

Published: 05th September 2018 05:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2018 11:39 AM   |  A+A-

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Member of India’s LGBT (Lesbians Gays Bisexuals Transgenders) community shout slogans during a parade in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: All eyes will be on the Supreme Court on Thursday as it will pronounce the much-awaited verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises homosexuality.

The SC will decide whether or not to strike down this section of the IPC, a colonial-era provision that penalises same-sex relations, even if consensual.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices Rohinton Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra will pronounce the verdict.  

Ahead of the verdict, senior advocate Indira Jaising said that media and readers should await for all the four judgements to be read out. 

Section 377 is one of the few important cases that the Bench headed by Chief Justice Misra is expected to decide before his retirement on October 2.

ALSO READ: Five people, one cause: Meet the young lawyers who fought for decriminalising Section 377

The five-judge Constitution Bench started the hearing in the case on July 10 and reserved the verdict on July 17, with Justice Chandrachud orally observing that a person’s choice of a partner is a fundamental right to life, and a ‘partner’ includes same-sex partner.

provision with regard to the aspects of criminalising consensual unnatural sex between two consenting adults.

The petitioners in the case include hotelier Keshav Suri, who argued that the right to sexual orientation was meaningless without the right to choose a partner.

EDITORIAL: Time to bury section 377

The judgment will also decide the validity of December 2013 SC verdict in the Suresh Koushal case, which upheld Section 377.

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