30 July, 2021

SC Order On Sec 377 Will Bring Tectonic Shifts In Indian Society

The apex court’s verdict on Section 377 is poised to bring tectonic shifts in Indian society, but subtly

Righting Wrongs
Petitioners are asking for the right to sexual autonomy
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
SC Order On Sec 377 Will Bring Tectonic Shifts In Indian Society

This fortnight-long pause must feel like an endless period of waiting for India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community—nothing short of a cusp moment in their history. The Supreme Court has just finished hearing a batch of petitions asking for Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to be “read down”. LGBTQ groups are waiting to find out if the court will hold that consensual same-sex intercourse is legal. If this happens, LGBTQs will have won the right to seek legal recourse against everyday oppression and form associations to raise grievances. As Section 377 makes all homosexual acts illegal, these rights are at present denied to LGBTQ persons.

The line of questioning adopted by the judges while hearing the case has left LGBTQ activists sanguine. For instance, Justice Rohinton Nariman noted that the court will “not wait for majoritarian governments to enact or delete” laws that violate fundamental rights, while Jus­tice D.Y. Chandrachud said that if same-sex intercourse is decriminalised under Section...

Latest Magazine

August 02, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section