he Supreme Court said on Thursday that constitutional values will be followed while fixing the validity of Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The bench said that if homosexuality is removed from the category of crime, the social stigma and inequality in the LGBT community will also end. This is not a misunderstanding, but rather a difference. Over the years, we all have a sense of discrimination against homosexuals. With the change in Section-377, two people can get intimate with the consent and there will be no restriction on this.
A five-member Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Mishra said that if the Central Government did not amend the 1860 law, it does not mean that some people will not challenge this provision by stating it is a violation of fundamental rights. In the year 2013, the two-member bench of the Supreme Court had overturned the decision of the Delhi High Court to free homosexuality from the scope of the crime, but the high court had left it at the conscience of the Parliament that it could amend it if necessary.
During the Center hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the bench not to consider religious aspects while taking a decision on Section 377. This matter is restricted to the relationship created by consent of two adults. He said that the bench should keep Section-377 limited to its discussion on constitutionality and validity until it considers personal relationships between two gay adults as a crime which may extend up to the life sentence of life imprisonment.
Advocate Krishan Vengugopal, the petitioner, said that Section 377 is contrary to the right of speech and right of expression and right to conscience. We have the right to express our views openly but due to the penal provision, the LGBT community is not able to do so. They are being kept away from rights.
He said that there is a need to take positive steps to eliminate discrimination with the LGBT community. At the same time, Manoj George, the lawyer of two Christian associations, opposed the abrogation of section 377 and accused the central government of ignoring in the case. However, the Additional Solicitor General denied these allegations.