The justices penned down four separate but concurring judgments - one by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar, and one each by the other three judges. "The law must take affirmative steps to achieve equal protection of law to all its citizens, irrespective of sexual orientation".
Justice D Y Chandrachud, who was a member of the five-judge constitution bench which ruled that gay sex among consenting adults was no more a criminal offence, said on Saturday that in Section 377 the judgment really represented in that sense the battle between laws of a colonial origin and laws which must truly represent constitutional values.
"They would say "we'll call you back" or "you don't have the right experience for this job", Balaji said.
Today, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court ruling, it is no longer illegal to take part in homosexual acts, and literally the entire LGBT community in India is taking to the streets to celebrate.
In 2016 this was challenged when campaigners submitted a "curative petition", which is a formal request to review an earlier court order thought to be a "miscarriage of justice", after which the court chose to revisit that ruling. "The declaration of the aforesaid reading down of Section 377 shall not, however, lead to the reopening of any concluded prosecutions, but can certainly be relied upon in all pending matters whether they are at the trial, appellate, or revisional stages", Justice Malhotra said, adding that the provisions of Section 377 will continue to govern non-consensual sexual acts against adults and all acts of carnal intercourse against minors besides acts of bestiality. "It makes a huge difference, being legal to illegal", said Bismaya Kumar Raulo with the LGBT advocacy group, Impulse.
The Supreme Court's decision follows a protracted legal dispute over the constitutionality of section 377.
At the same time, most people argued that people of the LGBTQ community are mentally ill and their relationship is unnatural.
Additionally, throwing light on the prevailing situation for the LGBTQ community in Guwahati, Shubhajit Dutta, activist and member of Xukia - a queer collective based in the city which fights for the rights of the community of the northeast, said the condition of queer people in Guwahati is a little better than other places in Assam like Silchar and Dhibrugarh as they face relatively less stigma.
It said the State can not persecute people and decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not and observed that section 377 was based on "deep-rooted stereotypes of the society".
"Any discrimination on the basis of s3xual orientation violates fundamental rights", Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who was head of the five-judge bench, said in Thursday's ruling, Al Jazeera reported. "There are other judgments which do not regard this right "to be that I am" as something that is immutable", he said. It said the State can not persecute people and decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not, holding that Section 377 IPC was based on "deep-rooted stereotypes of the society" that was violative of fundamental rights to equality and life with dignity. While the Centre in the Supreme Court had said it had no opposition to partially striking down the section, it was silent on the issue of same sex marriages.
The Congress, during the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, had opposed the decriminalization of homosexuality with two of its key ministries-home and health-contradicting each other.
The CJI also said: "Section 377 IPC subjects the LGBT community to societal pariah and dereliction and is, therefore, manifestly arbitrary, for it has become an odious weapon for the harassment of the LGBT community by subjecting them to discrimination and unequal treatment". "Decriminalisation is but the first step; the constitution envisages much more". We will win each one of them. The country's Supreme Court ruled that same gender intercourse is no longer a criminal offence.
Several political, social and religious groups then mobilised to restore the law and in 2013 the Supreme Court struck down the High Court ruling.
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