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India's top court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex

Section 377 verdict by Supreme Court today: 5 key things to know

Coming down heavily on the issue of routine discrimination that members of the LGBTQ are subjected to, the diverse group of petitioners said that Section 377 legitimises the stigma associated with sexual orientation and its expression-something which is essential, fundamental, intrinsic and innate to an individual.

"Section 377 is irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible as it fetters the right to equality for LGBT community.LGBT community possesses same equality as other citizens", said CJI Dipak Misra. As soon as SC announced the verdict, people from LGBT community started celebrating.

► "No one can escape from their individualism". A five-judge Constitution bench led by CJI Dipak Misra held that the 157-year-old colonial-era law will not apply to sex between consenting adults, irrespective of their gender.

In a landmark judgment Thursday, the Supreme Court overturned its previous order on Section 377 and decriminalised gay sex.

Justice Rohinton Nariman taking note of Justice Chandrachud's observations during the July 17 hearing had said that prohibitions have never resolves any social issue. Respect for each others rights, and others are supreme humanity.

The top court, while pronouncing the verdict on a batch of seven petitions it was hearing, the court said, "Homosexuality is not an offence".

Reading clauses (1) and (2) of Article 13 together, he argued that if section 377 was introduced in present day, it would not stand the test of Part III of the Constitution, and hence, the provision, as enacted in 1860, could not either. Twenty-four years later, the Supreme Court has indicated that it may do away with the criminality clause against consenting adults.

"The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court's ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons", it added. "You can not impose your sexual orientation on others without their consent", the top court had said.

"We are exclusively on consensual acts between man-man, man-woman".

Under the colonial-era law, homosexual activity was punishable by up to 10 years in jail. The Centre in its reply said it was leaving it to the wisdom of the Supreme Court to decide if Section 377 was constitutionally valid.

The writ petitions were opposed by Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Association and some other NGOs and individuals including Suresh Kumar Kaushal.