SC's decision to revisit Section 377 sparks hope

ANI | Updated: Jan 08, 2018 18:41 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 8 (ANI): Hours after the Supreme Court decided to review the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalises homosexuality, the LGBTQ activists on Monday expressed faith in the apex court to finally overturn its 2013 verdict that criminalised homosexuality.

Welcoming the top court's decision, LGBTQ activist Akkai said, "The recent judgments on right to privacy and triple talaq gives us hope."

Akkai also called upon all political leaders to support the rights of the community.

"We are living in 21st century. All politicians and political parties must break their silence and support individuals' sexuality," Akkai said.

A three-judge bench, which was hearing a plea, filed by one Navtej Singh Johar, seeking to declare section 377 as unconstitutional, on Monday said the validity of anti-gay law needed to be revisited.

Women activist Abha Singh also views the court's decision as a step towards overruling of its earlier order that quashed Delhi High Court's decision to decriminalise homosexuality.

"Now that the Supreme Court has recognised the right to privacy as a fundamental right, it now becomes the court's duty to extend the same rights to the LGBTQ community" Singh said.

In August last year, while pronouncing privacy judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy was a fundament right and linked it with homosexuality.

Another activist Shashi Bhushan spoke in the same vein, and commended the Supreme Court for the "progressive step."

Meanwhile, social activist Rahul Easwar sided with the SC's 2013 decision, but nevertheless called its social acceptance before legal acceptance.

"It is still not proven if homosexuality is a scientific aspect or a cultural aspect. In the nature versus nurture debate, people like me who lean to the right conservative side hold that it is more of a nurture thing which can be corrected," Easwar told ANI.

Citing above reason, Easwar observed that differing opinions should be respected and further discussions and debates should happen before drafting a law. (ANI)