Wednesday, 11 December 2013

  • Suyash Karangutkar.
11th December' 2013: New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India dragged down things to square one declaring section 377 legal, in it’s verdict on Wednesday morning. A bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya observed that sections 377 is a valid constitutional provision. 

The Apex court over-ruled the judgement of Delhi High Court which had legalized Homosexuality four years back. In it’s judgment on 2nd July 2009, the Delhi High Court had declared gay sex is ‘not a castigating act.’ Although the judgement was celebrated by the LGBT community all over India, it was opposed and challenged by many. 

Religious organizations like All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Utkal Christian Council and Apostolic Churches Alliance too have challenged the judgment. The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Right, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munn Kazhgam, SD Pritinidhi Sabha, Joint Action Council had opposed the High Court’s judgment. 

Others including BJP leader B.P. Singhal, Ramdev Baba’s disciples SK Tijarawala, Ram Murti, Bhim Singh, B Krishna Bhat and Raza Academy’s astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal were among the opposers. 

  • Section 377.

377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The ambit of Section 377, which was devised to criminalize and prevent homosexual associations - sodomy in particular, extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion. Thus even consensual heterosexual acts such as fellatio and penetration may be a punishable offense under this law.

  • In support.
 Parents of LGBT persons , Naz Foundation, Voices Against 377, Shyam Benegal,  Nivedita Menon and other academics,  Shekhar Seshadri had voiced in support of the judgement of the Delhi High Court. 

  • Opposing the Apex Courts Decision. 
"This decision is a body blow to people's rights to equality, privacy and dignity. It is hard not to feel let down by this judgement, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights,” the Chief Executive of Amnesty International India, G Ananthapadmanabhan told CNN IBN. 

Activist Pallav Patankar wrote on his facebook wall: “I am feeling sad but not defeated, who said the fight against bigotry and fundamentalism was going to be easy! India you failed me again.” 
A person from the LGBT community, on anonymity spoke to The News-O-Holic. He said, “I am disappointed. All of us had expected a favorable decision. It is like criminalizing us. It is like a certain community has become a criminal again. The reasons for criminalizing us are baseless.” 
Another person said that the decision was based on old believes and that he categorizes it as a narrow minded one.

 - Suyash Karangutkar is the Managing Editor of The News-O-Holic.


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