LGBT Rights – Transgender Bill, Sec. 377, etc.

Supreme Court refers plea to decriminalise homosexuality under Sec. 377 to larger Bench

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Social empowerment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, Suresh Kumar Kaushal vs. Naz Foundation case, NALSA case, right to privacy case, Article 21 (right to life)

Mains level: Transgender rights and judiciary’s role in ensuring their implementation


Petition to quash Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code

  1. The Supreme Court has referred to a larger Bench a writ petition filed by five petitioners to quash Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality
  2. The apex court said a section of people cannot live in fear of the law which atrophies their right to choice and natural sexual inclinations
  3. It said societal morality changes with time and law should walk and change pace with life

SC to revisit its previous decision

  1. SC decided to revisit its December 2013 verdict in Suresh Kumar Kaushal vs. Naz Foundation which dismissed the LGBT community as a negligible part of the population
  2. It also virtually denied them the right of choice and sexual orientation
  3. SC observed that judgments emphasising the transgender identity in the NALSA case and the observations made by a nine-judge Bench in the right to privacy case upholding the right to sexual orientation and choice of sexual partners warrant a relook into its dismissive verdict in the Naz case

Consensual sex requires more protection

  1. The court observed that what is natural for one may not be natural for the other, but the confines of law cannot trample or curtail the inherent rights embedded with an individual under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution
  2. Individual autonomy and individual natural inclination cannot be atrophied unless the restrictions are determined as reasonable
  3. The court said the concept of consensual sex may require more protection
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