In a landmark statement, the Supreme Court of India has accepted a fresh writ petition filed by 5 well-known LGBTQIA namely Navtej Jauhar, Sunil Mehra, Aman Nath, Ritu Dalmia and Ayesha Kapoor. The case that was earlier referred to a two-judge bench will now be referred to a larger bench to review its constitutional validity. The petitioners have raised larger issues of privacy, equality and expression. What is Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code?
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Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of life or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend up to ten years and shall also be liable for fine. Decoding Sec 377 – Everything you want to know As per the colonial law of 1860, any form is intercourse, other than peno-vaginal penetration between a man and a woman is termed is considered unnatural. Anal and oral are is a punishable offence. Therefore, the LGBTQIA community is the sufferer here. “Choice cannot be allowed to cross boundaries of law but confines of law can’t trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of Constitution,” says SC. Earlier in August 2017, the SC had criticised Sec 377 by calling sexual orientation an important aspect of the society. India is amongst the fewer democratic countries that criminalises same-sex relationships. The LGBTQIA community is now hopeful and awaits the landmark judgement.