Queer people have been fighting for their rights for far too long now. But it is only now after the last hearing in 2013 that the Supreme Court has given the subject of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code its due importance. According to an archaic law, the section disallows lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people to indulge in sexual intercourse with the people of same gender orientation. Now the SC has referred the petitions to a five-judge constitution bench for further hearing.
“A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A R Dave and J S Khehar said the matter involved important issues concerning the scope of human relationships and needed to be heard by a larger bench,” reported The New Indian Express.
The bench has not yet informed the centre about the development. They feel that the new bench of five-judges may do so if necessary. Anand Grover, the advocate who is appearing for Naz Foundation is told by the bench that it would give a comprehensive understanding to the issue rather than confining it to a curative constraint.
“The judgement was reserved on 27 March, 2012 but the verdict was delivered after around 21 months and during this period lots of changes took place including amendment in laws which were not considered by the bench that delivered the judgement,” said the petition by the foundation regarding the 2013 decision by the High Court, reported by First Post.
In total, eight curative petitions have surfaced in order to appeal to SC for amendments. Kapil Sibal, senior counsel, is rooting for the decriminalising of homosexuality and feels that by not amending the law “you have bound the present and future generations to dignity and stigma.”
The Gay rights activists claim that after the 2013 judgement came out, many having different sexual orientation came out in open and disregarded the High Court’s judgement. Now all those people are under threat of being prosecuted.
In 2009, the High Court had criminalised homosexuality through a judgement on Section 377. But later on in 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the judgement saying that it would be the violation of human rights of homosexuals.
Picture Credit- Business Standard