Supreme Court to revisit Section 377, seeks response from Centre

Supreme Court to revisit Section 377, seeks response from Centre

The LGBT community was in a state of relief this week as a three-judge bench of the apex court said it would rethink about the Section 377 which criminalises gay sex between consenting adults.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud reported that the issue arising out of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is required to be worked upon in the coming days.

The Supreme Court bench has also realized that their earlier judgement on Section 377 has hurt the sentiments of various people in the country.

The bench of top officials further said: "Societal morality changes according to time and law walks with life. A section of people must not live in fear of their individual choice."

The Supreme Court has also issued a notice to the Centre seeking a response on a writ petition filed thereon by five members of the LGBT community, who say they are living in fear of police because of their natural sexual preferences.

The bench was forwarded a fresh plea filed by one Navtej Singh Johar who seeks to declare Section 377 as unconstitutional to the extent till where it provides prosecution of adults for getting involved in consensual gay sex.

Renowned senior advocate Arvind Datar, representing Johar, noted that the penal provision was unconstitutional as it also provided prosecution and sentencing of consenting adults found indulging in such natural sex.

Mr. Datar, referring to a recent nine-judge bench judgement, said: "You cannot put two adults in jail for being involved in consenting unnatural sex."

Earlier Congress MP Shashi Tharoor guided the Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill seeking changes in Section 377 of IPC (unnatural offence) but it was later defeated in the Lok Sabha.