Less than 200 people prosecuted under Section 377 in 150 years: Supreme Court

In a landmark judgement the Supreme Court today scrapped the Section 377 that criminalizes homosexuality in India. A 5-member bench pronounced a unanimous verdict to end the law that was brought in the British era.

Whilst reading out the verdict on Section 377, one of the five members of the bench, Justice Rohinton Nariman pointed that ever since the law surfaced in the year 1861, less than 200 people have been prosecuted under Section 377.

Justice Nariman stated in his order, “The fact that only a minuscule fraction of the country’s population constitutes lesbians and gays or transgenders, and that in the last 150 years, less than 200 persons have been prosecuted for committing the offence under Section 377, is neither here nor there”.

He also stated that homosexuality cannot be considered to be a mental disorder and the gay and transgenders have all the right in the nation to live with dignity.

It was under the 1861 law, that gay sex was a punishable offence for up to 10 years in jail. On the other hand, gay activists have off and on, pointed that how the police used the law to intimidate and harass the members of their community.

Justice Indu Malhotra, further stated, “History owes the LGBT community an apology for their sufferings”.

The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also stated that the LGBT community have rights just like others and majoritarian opinions cannot dictate constitutional rights.

The verdict given by the Supreme Court is being lauded by millions across the nation, far beyond the gay community which has fought its rights for decades to be not treated like second class.


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