Today, the Supreme Court has given its verdict on Section 377 of Indian Penal Code. This section dates back to 1861 introduced during British Rule in India. There were questions whether Supreme Court of India decriminalize homosexuality. The five-judge Constitution bench has assembled in court and read out the verdict. Know more.
The majority ruling decided to decriminalize it. It has partially struck down Section 377 of the IPC. Previously, it punishes sex between consenting adults in same sex relations. Four opinions will be read out by the judges. SC said that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is violation of fundamental rights. SC also directed government to ensure proper broadcast of judgment and the police should be sentised. CJI Dipak Misra says there is a consensus among the judgments, which means all the judges are in agreement.
Who constitute the bench of judges?
The bench of judges comprises Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra.
What Section 377 of IPC says
Section 377 of the IPC refers to ‘unnatural offences’ and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with the imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
History on Petition
In 2001, it was first challenged by an NGO, Naz Foundation. In 2009, Delhi High Court described section 377 as violation of fundamental rights which was later overturned by SC in 2013. In 2016, it was decided that a fresh bench of judges would review it. It was done after petition filed by high-profile personalities calling it violation of Constitutional rights. In July 2013, SC reconsiders the decision of 2013 and hearings were begun. Apex Court reserved the rights of verdict with itself.