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Supreme Court to review Section 377: All your questions answered

Supreme Court to review Section 377: All your questions answered

The Supreme Court of India announced Monday that it would reconsider its 2013 ruling upholding Section 377, a colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex sexual relations.

The court said that people who exercise their choice should not live in fear.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review two challenges to a MS law considered to be one of the most extreme anti-gay rights laws in the country.

In the 2013 judgment, the two judge bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya had argued that in 150 years, less than 200 persons had been prosecuted under Article 377.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court overturned a high court verdict that had set aside a law framed in 1860 and decriminalized consensual sex among adult homosexual men.

The Supreme Court is refusing to hear challenges to a MS law that allows businesses and government employees to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs.

LGBT rights groups called the law the "worst in the nation" and the Supreme Court's decision a "missed opportunity".

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The weak demand, plus high refinery output should keep gas prices low", said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. Nationally, gas prices have gone down over the last month and stayed pretty flat over the last week.

Section 377 of IPC - which came into force in 1862 - defines unnatural offences. This also has implications for heterosexuals, as consensual sexual acts of adults - oral and anal sex in private - are now treated as unnatural and punishable under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

A law in MS called the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, enacted in April 2016, notes that the state cannot punish citizens, public servants, businesses, and religious institutions who oppose same-sex marriage, homosexuality and transgender rights.

This follows the apex court's August judgment holding privacy to be a fundamental right and additionally that sexual orientation forms an essential attribute of privacy. "Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law, but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution", the bench observed.

The court also issued a notice to the Centre seeking its response to a writ petition filed by five members of the LGBT community.

The activist Gautam Bhan said SC's reading of the right to privacy as an aspect of respect and equality, especially in the case of LGBTQ rights, was welcome.

Arvind Datar, counsel for Petitioners argued in the Supreme Court about the clarity of the consensual sex which punishes one of the partners while leaving the other which the Court did take a note and said "individual autonomy and individual's natural inclination can not be atrophied unless the restriction is reasonable to yield to the morality of the public at large".

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