Analysis on the India verdict of Navtej Singh Johar and Ors Vs Union of India
Galgotias University, Greater Noida, India
Volume II, Issue I, 2018
LGBT community includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and Section 377 introduced in 1861 criminalises sexual activities against the order of the nature including gay sex. This ban has been challenged by five high profile petitioners who says that they have been living in the fear of being punished and that section 377 is against Article 14 which is equality before law, Article 15 which outlaws discrimination and Article 19 which gives freedom to form associations. The Supreme court while hearing the case has observed that we cannot wait for majoritarian government to decide on law if it violates Fundamental rights. The petition has come from various members of LGBT community including Sangeet Natak Academy Award winner Navtej Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, Restaurateur Ritu Dalmia, Neemrana Hotel chain co- founder/ chairman Aman Nath and business woman Ayesha Kapoor. This verdict lay the foundation for future battles as to how people are affected and not being able to report the crimes. section 377 of Indian Penal code was refers to unnatural offences under law i.e., intercourse against the nature and it was said to be unscientific in nature. Act committed under section 377 shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment which may be extend to 10 years, or shall also be liable to pay a fine. This section infringes the right to equality, dignity, fraternity, life liberty and non- discrimination of the people of LGBT community. The core values of constitution of India consists of these basic rights and since the times are changing so it’s the responsibility of judiciary and legislature to change or modify the old laws, after all it’s a British law and it is over 150 years old. India is one of the most religiously and ethically diverse nations in the world and there are diverse religion, age, sex and other backgrounds so decriminalising section 377 is the foundation of democracy. It preserves the right of equality, right to dignity and privacy of LGBT community. The court decriminalises and read down the section 377 of Indian Penal code and said it is illegal and unconstitutional in nature.