Showing a new ray of hope to the LGBTQA community, the Supreme Court has on January 8 decided to review its' 2013 verdict to criminalise homosexuality under section 377 of the IPC. The matter has now been referred to a larger bench.
After the SC Declaration of Right to Privacy as a fundamental right, this was an expected move. Here's how lawyers, activists and members of the community reacted.
Shehzad Poonawalla, Lawyer and Social activist on SC decision to review section 377: Welcome SC decision to review Section 377. It is a landmark move in the right direction. As a Constitutional, st I stand with every Indian enjoying his or her full rights irrespective of sexuality and sexual choices.
Anindya Hajra, Transgender Rights activist:
The decision to review S 377 is a welcome step. The fact that it will be reviewed and given we now have the Right to Privacy judgment as a precedent we can only be seen as a hopeful move which needs to re look at the core issues of dignity and Equality before law of queer persons and address the historic injustice of the 2013 verdict
Mridul, member of LABIA- A Queer Feminist LBT Collective: It is a welcome move by SC. I can't help but think of it against the backdrop of recent police violence against transwomen in Kerala. We hope that the SC will uphold the Delhi HC judgment of 2009 and give LGBTQIA community a chance to live with dignity.
Abha Singh, Bombay HC Senior Lawyer, activist: The Very fact that SC has agreed to review it's own 2 member Bench judgement that overturned Delhi HC Court of decriminalising 377IPC by sending it to a 3member Bench shows that the Court realised that 377 IPC is regressive and violates human dignity and right to Equality. Also when 9 member SC Bench had declared Right to Privacy a fundamental right protected under Article 21that is, considering Privacy as a Part of Right to Life and Liberty then what sexual preferences two consenting adults have and cohabit with their own homes cannot be treated as a crime. I welcome SC s move. It will uphold dignity and human rights of LGBT Community and will also protect them from Police harassment and extortion.377IPC should be done away with.