The Allahabad High Court directed the Home Guard Quarters in Uttar Pradesh to reinstate Pramod Kumar Sharma, a staff member from the LGBTQ+ community. Sharma’s appointment had been cancelled due to a video which revealed his sexual orientation. The Bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal directed that the concerned department take Sharma back in service with immediate effect.
On June 11, 2019, the District Commandant of Home Guards, Bulandshahar had passed an order that cancelled the appointment of Sharma.
The Court noted that the sexual orientation of the petitioner had been stated as an untoward activity. That violates the Apex Court in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India. In that case, the Apex Court had held that the sexual orientation of a person is their individual choice.
Treating it as an offence would be an interference in the person’s right to privacy.
Referring to the principles laid down in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, the Court observed the Supreme Court ruling that “any display of affection” amongst members of the LGBTQ+ community towards their partner “cannot be bogged down by the majority perception,” as long as it does not disturb public order or amount to indecency.
Treating sexual orientation as offence interferes with right to privacy: Allahabad High Court orders reinstatement of LGBT Home Guard staff
Thus, the Allahabad High Court directed the reinstatement of Sharma, finding the previous order to be “vindictive in nature”. The Commandant General of Home Guards, Head Quarters, Lucknow has been directed to take the petitioner, Sharma, back in service with immediate effect.