NEW DELHI: It is one of the world’s oldest laws criminalizing consensual gay sex, and after weeks of deliberation, Supreme Court has ruled to decriminalise gay sex in a unanimous verdict handed down by a five-judge panel.
Chief justices Dipak Misra said “No one can escape from their individualism. Society is now better for individualism. In the present case, our deliberations will be on various spectrums.”
The bench also comprising justices DY Chandrachud, AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra, and Rohinton Fali Nariman
Previously, gay sex had been punishable by up to 10 years in prison under section 377 of the IPC. The high court had decriminalised consensual gay sex in 2009 but the top court had cancelled the order four years later, ruling that only parliament should be changing laws.
However In 2016, the Supreme Court, agreed to hear a petition by five prominent members of the LGBT, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
In 2001, the Naz Foundation, a New Delhi-based NGO that works in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention, had challenged the section in the Delhi high court which ruled in favour and said that the law does not apply to consenting adults.