A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Thursday unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises homosexuality, saying it violated the rights to equality.
The constitution bench, which also included Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra gave four separate concurring judgments, each terming the part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises consensual unnatural sex as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.
CJI Misra read a 166-page judgment on behalf of Justice Khanwilkar, while the other three Justices Chandrachud, Malhotra and Nariman, read their judgments separately.
CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar spoke of how societal morality can't dictate the Constitution while terming sexual orientation part of the Fundamental Right to Self Expression
Justice RF Nariman, commented that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and asked the Union government to create awareness for the same.
Justice DY Chandrachud touched on homosexuality saying “society cannot dictate sexuality of an individual.”
Justice Indu Malhotra said that Section 377 violates Right to Life and Liberty guaranteed under Article 14
(With inputs from agencies)
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