The Supreme Court on Monday decided to review the contentious Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, five years after its two-judge bench set aside a Delhi High Court judgement decriminalising homosexuality.
A three-judge bench of Supreme Court, headed by CJI, said it would reconsider and examine the Constitutional validity of Section 377.
The SC today also issued a notice to the Centre seeking its response to a writ petition filed by five members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, who said they live in fear of police because of their natural sexual orientation and preferences.
The apex court also referred to a Constitution bench the petition seeking to decriminalise consensual sex between LGBTQ adults.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said the SC’ s December 2013 judgment upholding the validity of Section 377 – which says sexual intercourse between consenting adults of the same gender is a crime – appears to hurt the sexual preferences of individuals.
The three-judge bench took into account views expressed in another judgment in August, which gave the right to privacy the status of a fundamental right. That judgment was also in favour of respecting the freedom of individuals to their sexual orientation.