India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

Senior Advocate Krishnan Venugopal argued that section 377 qualifies as a means to suppress alternate sexuality.

India's Supreme Court on Thursday (Sep 6) struck down a colonial-era ban on gay sex that has been at the centre of years of legal battles.

► "No one can escape from their individualism". However, it urged the five-judge constitution bench to confine to deciding the challenge to the law, without any scope that may give rise to members of the LGBT community claiming civil rights including right to property, inheritance marriage, adoption and other rights.

Almost six weeks after the Supreme Court (SC) had reserved its verdict on the decriminalisation of homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the top court will today announce its verdict on the matter. The bench had earlier reserved its verdict on July 17. He said, "We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights", according to LiveLaw.

During the hearing, the Narendra Modi government told the Supreme Court that it will not be opposing the petitions challenging Section 377. But even as it did that, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra brushed aside as "far-fetched" arguments from opponents of decriminalising Section 377.


Denial of right to sexual orientation is denial of privacy rights. Additionally, the paradox lies in the fact that people belonging to the LGBTQ community have been routinely denied personal liberty even after the Supreme Court in 2017 passed the landmark judgement that made the right to privacy a fundamental right.

"Section 377 is arbitrary. Sexual orientation is one of the many natural phenomena...any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to violation of fundamental rights".

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

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. However, its decision was overruled in 2013 by the Supreme Court.

Delivering the judgement, India's chief justice, Dipak Misra, said: "Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults - homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians - can not be said to be unconstitutional". As per current law, anyone who indulges in same sex will get up to 10 years in prison.

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