Meet 5 men and women who challenged ban on homosexuality
New Delhi : Supreme Court on Thursday ruled a landmark verdict, scrapping the controversial Section 377- a 158-year-old colonial law on consensual gay sex. "LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen. Respect for each others rights, and others are supreme humanity. Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible," said Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who headed the five judge bench hearing the case.
The Supreme Court had started hearing petitions against the ban on Article 377 in July this year.
#Section377 in Supreme Court: CJI Dipak Misra observes, "No one can escape from their individualism. Society is now better for individualism. In the present case, our deliberations will be on various spectrums."— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018
Let's meet the five men and women who had challenged the ban on homosexuality.
Navtej Singh Johar: 59-year-old is a renowned classical dancer and winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, who had petitioned the Supreme Court along with his partner of 25 years and said that Section 377 violated the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by the constitution.
Sunil Mehra: 63-year-old is a journalist and the former editor of the Indian edition of Maxim magazine. He is an actor and exponent of dastangoi, a 13th century form of storytelling. He has directed, produced, written and anchored 'Centrestage' on Doordarshan. Along with Navtej Singh Johar, his partner of over two decades, he has co-founded Studio Abhyas.
Ritu Dalmia: 45-year-old is a celebrity chef and owner of the niche restaurant chain Diva. She has written several books and has also hosted food shows on television. Born in Kolkata to a Marwari business family, Ms Dalmia joined her family business when she was a teenager. A globe trotter, Ms Dalmia specialized in Italian cuisine.
Aman Nath: 61-year-old is an owner of the Neemrana chain of hotels. Passionate about history and architecture, Aman Nath has written several books on history and arts. He is also a poet and a prolific writer, who has co-written and authored 13 illustrated books on art, history, architecture and photography.
Ayesh Kapur: 23-year-old is an actor and a businesswoman, who is best known for her performance in Black, where she played young Rani Mukherjee. Ms Kapur was only 9-year-old when she portrayed a deaf and mute girl and won many accolades. She had won the Best Supporting Actress award for the role.
What Supreme Court said on Article 377?
Primary objective of having a Constitutional society is to transform the society progressively; Constitutional provisions should not be interpreted in literal sense.
Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression.
LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen. Respect for each others rights, and others are supreme humanity. Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible.
The provision of IPC had resulted in collateral effect in that consensual sex between LGBT person is criminalised and is violative of Article 14.
What is Article 377?
Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal", shall be punished by up to 10 years in jail under the 1861 law.
The decision has been hailed massively across the country, read reactions below:
Congratulations to all the activists and petitioners on #SupremeCourt judgement scrapping #Section377 Your perseverance just made #India a freer place for everyone ! #LoveIsLove #Pride #377Verdict #377Scrapped Three cheers for the #SupremeCourt pic.twitter.com/grA64TTB3w— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) September 6, 2018