Revealed! Two women lawyers who overturned Article 377 are a couple

Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy were at the forefront of the fight even in 2013, when the SC upheld the criminalization of the law which was decriminalised in 2009 by Delhi High Court. 

Published: 19th July 2019 11:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2019 03:20 PM   |  A+A-

Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju (Photo| Twitter)

Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju (Photo| Twitter)

By Online Desk

Until September 6, 2018, a huge section of the Indian population was either invisible or considered 'criminals' according to a colonial-era law - Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which made "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" a punishable offence.

By the above-mentioned definition, any sexual intercourse between people belonging to same-sex or gender was considered a criminal offence, punishable, even with life imprisonment. 

But almost a year ago, a five-judge panel of the Supreme Court struck down the law, making it possible for people like Dutee Chand - national sports champion, to come out and talk about their sexual orientation without the fear of being 'punished' for it. 

Spearheading the fight against the law were two Supreme Court lawyers - Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju. They were at the forefront of the fight even in 2013, when the SC upheld the criminalization of the law which was decriminalised in 2009 by Delhi High Court. 

Arundhati is the niece of former SC judge Markandey Katju and Menaka is the daughter of well known political thinker Mohan Guruswamy

For them, as queer professionals, the landmark judgement on September 6, 2018, which said "criminalizing carnal intercourse is irrational and indefensible," was not just a professional victory but also a personal one.

Talking about that in a recent interview with CNN, Menaka said, "It is not nice to be a 'criminal' who has to go back to court as a lawyer to argue other cases." They came out as a couple in that interview to the international media, giving hope and strength to millions of queer people in India.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp