Supreme Court verdict talks of "so-called rights" of LGBT: excerpts

Supreme Court verdict talks of 'so-called rights' of LGBT: excerpts
New Delhi The Supreme Court today reinstated a ban on gay sex in a major setback for rights campaigners in the world's biggest democracy.  (Read the entire Supreme Court judgement here)

The  top court struck down the Delhi High Court's landmark decision in 2009 to to decriminalize homosexuality. The judges said only lawmakers and not the courts could change a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality.

Here are excerpts from the judgement:

  • In its anxiety to protect the so-called rights of LGBT persons and to declare that Section 377 IPC violates the right to  privacy, autonomy and dignity, the High Court has extensively relied upon the judgments of  other jurisdictions.
  • The High Court is not at all right in observing that Section 377 IPC obstructs personality development of  homosexuals or affects  their  self-esteem because that observation is solely based on the reports prepared by the academicians
  • The impugned order (Delhi High Court order) does not discuss the  concept  of  "carnal
  • intercourse against the order of nature" and does not adequately show how the section violates the right to privacy. 
  • While reading down Section 377 IPC, the Division Bench of the High Court overlooked that a  miniscule fraction of the country's population constitute lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders and in last more than 150 years less than 200 persons have been prosecuted (as  per  the  reported orders) for committing offence under Section 377  IPC. 
  • Unless a clear  constitutional violation is proved, this Court is not  empowered  to  strike  down  a  law merely by virtue of its falling into disuse or the perception of the society having changed as regards the legitimacy of its purpose and its need.
  • Abuse of power given by law does occur; but the validity of the law cannot be contested because of such an apprehension. Discretionary power is not necessarily a discriminatory power.
  • This Court has merely pronounced on the correctness of  the view taken by the Delhi High Court on the constitutionality of Section 377 IPC and found that the said section does not  suffer  from  any  constitutional  infirmity.
  • Notwithstanding this verdict, the competent legislature shall be free to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section  377  IPC from the statute book or amend the same as per  the suggestion made by the Attorney General.

Story First Published: December 11, 2013 19:24 IST

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