What Is Section 377 & From Where It Started?
The Supreme Court gave a landmark verdict on September 6, 2018. The verdict given by the court not only shocked the centuries-old social shackles but also gave freedom to love to a large section. In fact, the court legalized homosexual relations between the two adults. With this, the provision of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which has been in existence since the time of the British, was removed under which two people of the same gender were not allowed to form an association. What is this stream and how the war was waged against it?
*Section 377 is the contribution of British
Homosexuality was declared a crime in the year 1861 during the British rule under Section 377 of the IPC. It was termed as unnatural offense and it was said that whoever would make a physical relationship with a man, woman or animal against the laws of nature on their own will be punished with life imprisonment. For decades it was considered a crime and because of this, the gay society was strangled by its feelings.
Interestingly, in England, lesbian (between two women) relationships were never considered illegal and homosexual relations between men had been considered valid since 1967 with some conditions, while 70 years after India gained independence from England. Later, I got freedom from this stream.
*Delhi HC rejected the first attempt
There was resistance to this, but the first attempt was made by law in 2001 to remove it from the road. The Naz Foundation and the AIDS anti-discrimination movement challenged the Colonial Act in the Delhi High Court. However, the court rejected these petitions and the fight to regain the right to the legitimacy of the relationship became longer.
*When the court admitted that the constitution is violated, section 377
The first breakthrough came when the Delhi High Court in 2009 validated the consensual relationship between two adults of the same gender. The Court considered the provision of Section 377 to be a violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. Let us tell you that Article 14 gives the person the right to equality before the law, Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and Article 21 gives the right to personal freedom and protection of life.
*Then SC gave a shock
The Delhi High Court’s decision realized independence for a few years, but in the year 2013, the Supreme Court rejected the court’s decision, saying it could not be legally protected. The Naz Foundation filed a reconsideration petition in the court but was also dismissed by the court.
*Transgenders got a new identity
By now, the society, which had intended to establish its identity in the society and regain its rights, had started going one step ahead. In 2014, the Supreme Court gave third gender status to transgenders and included them among other backward castes. In 2016, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) activists once again claimed in the Supreme Court that Section 377 provides for freedom, life, privacy, dignity, and equality with their sexuality, sexual annotations, sexual partners. The fundamental rights are given under Part-III of the Constitution are also being violated.
*An important part of the right to privacy
The court, in a judgment in August 2017, termed the right to privacy as a fundamental right and, at the same time, considered sexual orientation as an important part of privacy. With this, the constitutional bench of five judges of the Supreme Court began hearing the petitions filed against Section 377 in July 2018 and moved towards a decision that was about to change history.
*And this is how freedom was gained
In the same year, ie on 6 September 2018, the court legalized homosexual relations under Section 377, saying that sexual orientation is natural and people have no control over it. However, the Court has kept this provision in force on minors, animals and relationships created without consent. While giving the verdict, Justice Indu Malhotra even said that the society should apologize to LGBTQ and their families for depriving them of equal rights for so many years. With this, the Indian constitution gave the right to raise heads in the society by cutting off age-old shackles …