New Delhi, Sep 6: The Supreme Court will pronounce its much-awaited verdict on a clutch of petitions seeking decriminalisation of a 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual gay sex.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had reserved its verdict on July 17 after hearing various stakeholders for four days, including gay rights activists. Besides the CJI, the bench also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. Here are thye LIVE updates:
-The top court observes consensual sex between adults in private space and which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice. The apex court partially strikes down Section 377.- Right to privacy as part of right to life applies fully to LGBT community, says CJI Dipak Misra.
-Sec 377 in Supreme Court: CJI Dipak Misra observes, "No one can escape from their individualism. Society is now better for individualism. In the present case, our deliberations will be on various spectrums."
-Section 377 judgement being heard in the Supreme Court now. CJI Dipak Mishra says the four opinions have been put forth by the five-judge bench are concurring. Early reports say it's a unanimous verdict.
-LGBT community has the same rights like other members of society, says CJI .-"Consensual sexual relation between same-gender adults in private does not fall foul of section 377 IPC," says Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar
The apex court had asserted that courts cannot wait for a "majoritarian government" to decide on enacting, amending or striking down a law if it violates fundamental rights. It had made clear that it may not strike down the law completely and deal with it to the extent it relates to consensual acts between two adults."If Section 377 of the IPC goes away entirely, there will be anarchy. We are solely on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman. Consent is the fulcrum here. You cannot impose your sexual orientation on others without their consent," the top court had said while allaying apprehensions of those opposed to the decriminalisation of the penal provision."We would not wait for the majoritarian government to enact, amend or not to enact any law to deal with violations of fundamental rights," the bench had said while reserving its verdict.Section 377 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 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.The Centre, which had initially sought adjournment for filing its response to the petitions, had later left to the wisdom of the court the issue of legality of the penal provision on the aspects of criminalising consensual unnatural sex between two consenting adults.-- PTI