Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Review Of Gay Sex Law From Today At Supreme Court

Urvi Shah founded the Arranged Gay Marriage Bureau in 2015.  Instagram arrangedgaymarriage Urvi Shah founded the Arranged Gay Marriage Bureau in 2015
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 16:43

The law officer said that if the right to chose sexual partner is declared a fundamental right, then somebody may come up and say that he or she wanted to marry a sibling, which would be contrary to the laws governing to marriages.

During the pendency of the curative petitions, the plea was made that an open court hearing should be granted and after the apex court agreed to it, several fresh writ petitions were filed seeking to decriminalise of Section 377.

In January this year a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra referred the petitions challenging the legality of Section 377 to the present Constitution Bench while observing that the apex court judgment, in the Kaushal v Naz Foundation case upholding the constitutionality of Section 377, required to be "reexamined".

He explained the impact of the supreme court overturning the 2009 ruling, saying: "We got calls from parents, concerned about what would happen to their children".

He further observed, "It should not come to a situation where two homosexuals enjoying a walk on the Marine Drive be distrubed by the police. we want to protect the relationship".

"Rights that emanate for gender are much broader than rights of sexual minorities", he said, asking the petitioners to argue on matters related to inheritance and other rights if Section 377 is struck down.

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"Whatever may not be in question may not be decided", Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court expressing the apprehension of the Centre. The bench comprises Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. It denies LGBT persons, their right to full personhood, sexuality, sexual autonomy, and choice of sexual partner, which are implicit in the notion of life under Article 21 of the Constitution. "Today we are focusing on whether 377 is ultra vires or not", he told Rohatgi.

Dispelling the apprehensions of the Centre, he said: "We can't judge an issue in a vacuum", thereby telling Mehta that the issue of other rights of LGBT community was not before the bench. "We can not have an advanced ruling". The Centre said it has no objection with the court dealing with the validity of this penal provision.

The Indian government has offered mixed messages on the issue in the past, with some ministers speaking out in favor of Section 377, only to be contradicted by others. "This Hon'ble Court has upheld the right to choice of conjugal partner under Article 21 of the Constitution of India", the first plea, filed by the five personalities, read. "It's innate and inborn", he said.

"I am not appearing in the matter as I had appeared in the curative petition".

The arguments would resume on Wednesday.

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