The Supreme Court will give its historical verdict on Thursday on a batch of petitions on the validity of Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 377 and seeking to de-criminalise gay acts between two consenting adults. At present gay sex between two consenting adults is an offence.
A five-judge constitution bench comprising the Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Nariman, A.M. Kanwilkar, D.Y. Chand-rchud and Indu Malhotra will give judgment on whether the right to choose a partner of different gender would also include the right to cho-sose a partner of same sex.
The court is expected to extend the scope of ‘right to privacy’ to choose a partner of same sex and to remove the criminality attached to Section 377. In doing so the court will decide on legalising gay sex and decriminalises Section 377.
The court had earlier observed that an environment has been created in the Indian society over the years that have led to deep-rooted discrimination against the gay community, which has also adversely impacted their mental health.
Gay people are generally referred to as LGBTQ (lesbians, gay, bi-sexuals, transgenders and queers). As of October 2017 gay sex is legal in 25 countries — Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Mexico, Iceland, Portugal, Argentina, Denmark, Uruguay, New Zealand, Australia, France, Brazil, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, United States, Finland, Colombia, Germany and Malta and illegal in other countries.
During the hearing the court gave enough indication that it will strike down this provision as unconstitutional and allow gay persons to live freely in society.