State has no business in bedrooms of the people: Supreme Court of India
As an archaic British Law, namely Article 377, which criminalized homosexual acts was struck down, today by the Supreme Court of India in a unanimous five member bench, according to Chief Justice, Dipak Misra, The United Nations, applauds India’s inclusion of the LGBTI community into mainstream society.
Sexual orientation and gender expression form an integral part of an individual’s identity the world over, and violence, stigma and discrimination based on these attributes constitute an “egregious” violation of human rights, it said.
“The United Nations in India welcomes the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India striking down a key component of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized specific sexual acts between adults, a law dating back to British colonial rule that has targeted in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities,” it said in a statement.
Once outcasts, these individuals no longer need slink in the shadows or hide their relationships. The decision was met with widespread celebration across India.
LGBTI persons across the world continue to be the targets of violent attacks and are affected by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and social status, the statement added.
“The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court’s ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons. We also hope that the judgement will boost efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons in all areas of social, economic, cultural and political activity, thereby ensuring a truly inclusive society.
“The focus must now be on ensuring access to justice, including remedy; effective investigations of acts of violence and discrimination; and effective access to economic, social and cultural rights,” the organisation said.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the rights to equality.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra termed it irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.