Section 377: How 'draconian' law marginalises LGBT communit

The Supreme Court's decision to re-examine its verdict which criminalizes the sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex under Section 377 has brought a ray of hope for the LGBT community. This decision by the apex court shows that it is itself skeptical of the law, which on the label of "unnatural act", deprives a significant "minority" of its right to equality. When in 2009 the Delhi High Court gave the land mark decision to scrap the section 377, it emphasized on the fact that there should be no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It also based its judgement on the grounds of principle of human dignity and privacy mentioned in the Constitution of India. But in 2013, the Supreme Court turned around the verdict, criminalising homosexuality.

The section 377 is a "draconian" law which denies to recognize the identity of a particular section of the society. Not only this it also inflects social oppression. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, in 2014, a total of 1148 cases were registered under "unnatural" offences. In Suresh Kumar Koushal vs NAZ Foundation, court documents, Naz Foundation specifically states that the "section serves as a weapon for police abuse in the form of detention, questioning, extortion, harassment and forced sex". The law is of an archaic nature which was brought in by the British government. Ironically, they themselves have removed it from their constitution now but the Indian parliamentarians have still remained ignorant of the adhere need to scrap it. It is essential for the authorities to realize that protection of the rights and liberties of the the LGBTs is of the core importance in a liberal democracy. The section 377 is the existential testimony of how far the nation is from treating the homosexuals with equal respect and dignity as the citizens of the majority. Moreover, the discrimination with the LGBT, some way or the other, tarnishes the image of the country which claims to be a liberal society on the global platform. It is of paramount urgency that the Supreme Court clears the weight of the alleged "injustice" done on the LGBT community from its conscience and promises Indians the right to freedom and equality. By Alind Chauhan