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Gay sex not crime, rules SC in verdict hailed as historic; UN welcomes verdict

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Gay sex not crime, rules SC in verdict hailed as historic; UN welcomes verdict

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Supreme Court on Thursday, September 6, 2018, decriminalised a portion of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a colonial era adjunct that criminalises private consensual sexual acts between same sex adults.

The verdict by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misrawas applauded by a wide section, with the United Nations also coming out with a statement hailing the judgment. Jubilant gay rights activists celebrated on the lawns of the court. Shouts of ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ echoed on the premises, reported The Hindu.

Delivering the landmark judgment, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said: “I am what I am. So take me as I am.”

The apexcourt overruled its own 2013 decision and said Section 377, a British-era ban on consensual gay sex, is irrational, indefensible and arbitrary.

“No one can escape from their individuality,” said Justice Misra.CJI Dipak Misra, speaking for himself and Justice A M Khanwilkar, says denial of self-expression is akin to inviting death

The judges dwelt upon various philosophical and Constitutional aspects in writing the historic judgment that called for a shift in the society and attitudes. “We have to bid adieu to prejudices and to empower all citizens,” the Chief Justice said. Homosexuality, said the judges, is not a mental disorder.

Section 377 banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal”, which was interpreted to refer to homosexual sex. Under the 1861 law, gay sex was punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

The Chief Justice said: “Respect for individual choice is the essence of liberty; the LGBT community possesses equal rights under the constitution. Sexual orientation is a biological phenomenon; any discrimination on these grounds is violative of fundamental rights”.

History owes an apology to LGBT persons for ostracisation, discrimination, the court said.

So far as a consensual sexual act in private is concerned, it is neither harmful nor contagious to society, said the court. The society cannot dictate sexual relationship between consenting adults as it is a private affair and denial of right to sexual orientation is akin to denial of right to privacy, said the court.

Courts must protect the dignity of an individual as the right to live with dignity is recognised as a fundamental right.

Any kind of sexual activity with animals shall remain penal offence under Section 377 of the IPC, the judgment held.

The SC noted that India is signatory of international treaties on rights of LGBT and it is obligatory to adhere to treaties[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1536231074243{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #e5e5e5 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]The United Nations welcomed the judgment and said it was the first step towards ensuring full fundamental rights to LGBTI persons.

“The United Nations in India welcomes the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India striking down a key component of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized specific sexual acts between adults, a law dating back to British colonial rule that has targeted in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities.

“Sexual orientation and gender expression form an integral part of an individual’s identity the world over, and violence, stigma and discrimination based on these attributes constitute an egregious violation of human rights. LGBTI persons across the world continue to be the targets of violent attacks and are affected by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and social status.

“The UN in India sincerely hopes that the court’s ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons. We also hope that the judgment will boost efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons in all areas of social, economic, cultural and political activity, thereby ensuring a truly inclusive society. The focus must now be on ensuring access to justice, including remedy; effective investigations of acts of violence and discrimination; and effective access to economic, social and cultural rights.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The ban was challenged by five high-profile petitioners who said they were living in fear of being punished.The petitioners are, Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, restaurateur Ritu Dalmia, Neemrana hotel chain co-founder Aman Nath and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur.

Activists had been fighting the ban since the 1990s, suffering several court reverses before the verdict today that sparked celebrations among lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender groups across the country.

Reactions:

Congress welcomes verdict

“We join the people of India & the LGBTQIA+ community in their victory over prejudice. We welcome the progressive & decisive verdict from the Supreme Court & hope this is the beginning of a more equal & inclusive society,” tweeted the Congress’ official handle.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Supreme Court verdict on #Section377 is momentous. An age-old colonial law, that was an anachronism in today’s modern times, ends restoring the fundamental rights & negating discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s an imp step forward towards a liberal, tolerant society.”

Decision vindicates my stand: Shashi Tharoor

“So pleased to learn that the Supreme Court has ruled against criminalising sexual acts in private. This decision vindicates my stand on Section 377& on exactly the same grounds of privacy, dignity &constitutional freedoms. It shames those BJP MPs who vociferously opposed me in LS,” tweeted Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor.

Bollywood celebrities hail judgment

Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted, “Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!”

Actor Swara Bhasker also supported the judgment. She tweeted, “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.”

“Bye bye 377,” tweeted filmmaker and actor Farhan Akhtar. “Thank you #SupremeCourt #abouttime #nomorediscrimination #loveislove.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj says a conspiracy is underway for slow death of Arvind Kejriwal

Saurabh Bharadwaj also slammed the Tihar administration, BJP, Centre and Delhi LG and held them responsible for denying insulin to Kejriwal and said the Delhi Chief Minister has been suffering from Type-2 diabetes for the last 20-22 years.

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The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is being pushed towards a slow death inside Tihar jail as he is being denied insulin and consultations with his doctor.  AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj told the media that Arvind Kejriwal, who is suffering from Type-2 diabetes, has been asking for insulin and a video conferencing with his family doctor as the jail administration is not allowing him to do so.

Bharadwaj said he wants to say with full responsibility that a conspiracy is underway for the slow death of Kejriwal. He said his claims were on the basis of blood sugar readings of the Delhi Chief Minister in jail. He also slammed the Tihar administration, BJP, Centre and Delhi LG and held them responsible for denying insulin to Kejriwal and said the Delhi Chief Minister has been suffering from Type-2 diabetes for the last 20-22 years.

On Friday, the Delhi chief minister’s council Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Kejriwal has not been administered insulin to control his sugar levels since his arrest, and termed it alarming and shocking. The Enforcement Directorate had on Thursday claimed before the court that Kejriwal has been taking high sugar intake by consuming foods like mangoes and sweets every day, inspite of the fact that he was suffering from Type-2 diabetes, to create grounds for medical bail.

Kejriwal refuted the claims of the Enforcement Directorate by asserting before a court that the food he consumed was in accordance with the diet chart prepared by his doctor. Arvind Kejriwal confirmed that he only uses sugar free in his tea.

Bharadwaj further added that overall, it was a conspiracy to give a slow death to Arvind  Kejriwal so that his multiple organs get damaged and when he comes out of jail after 2-4 months he goes for the treatment of heart, kidney and other organs.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Rahul Gandhi says BJP will not get more than 150 seats in Lok Sabha elections

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said these BJP people are saying that they will secure this many or that many seats and but he wanted to make it clear that BJP will not get more than 150 seats.

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With completion of the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections yesterday, the stage is set for the 2nd phase of the Lok Sabha elections, which has lead the political parties to intensify and accelerate campaigning. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too, with his eyes set on the 2nd phase was addressing a public rally at Bihar’s Bhagalpur on Saturday.

Addressing the rally, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and said these BJP people are saying that they will secure this many or that many seats and but he wanted to make it clear that BJP will not get more than 150 seats.

Rahul Gandhi expressed his confidence that the I.N.D.I.A. Bloc will emerge victorious in the Lok Sabha elections. He also stressed on the party’s vision for INDIA once elected to power. Rahul Gandhi said, As soon as the INDIA alliance government comes, they will end the Agniveer scheme. He said India does not need two types of martyrs and added that everyone should get pension.

Gandhi further added that they will change GST and there will be one tax, minimum tax. He also talked about doubling the salary of Asha and Anganwadi workers. Gandhi said they are giving 2 guarantees to the farmers. The Congress party is going to waive off the farmers’ debts, and secondly, they are going to provide a guaranteed minimum support price to the farmers of India.

Congress leader even promised that his government would provide all diploma holders and graduates in India with the right to an apprenticeship. During the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections which are scheduled to be held on April 26, 4 constituencies in Bihar, including, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, and Purnia ,Katihar will go for elections.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav says BJP’s 400 paar film has become a super flop on the first day itself

Tejashwi Yadav said the INDIA Bloc had held block wise meetings and the feedback that has come is very good that the BJP’s 400 paar film has flopped on day 1 of the Lok Sabha elections. He said the people of Bihar are aware and will teach BJP a lesson.

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After the first phase of the Lok Sabha election got completed, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party and said that the BJP’s 400 paar film has become a super flop on the first day itself. The RJD leader told that the media that there is no competition in the first phase of the elections as Bihar will give shocking results this time.

Yadav added that the Mahagathbandhan is winning all 4 seats in the first phase. He said the INDIA Bloc had held block wise meetings and the feedback that has come is very good that the BJP’s 400 paar film has flopped on day 1 of the Lok Sabha elections. He said the people of Bihar are aware and will teach BJP a lesson.

Tejashwi Yadav said there is no competition in the first phase. He said the people of Bihar will give shocking results this time. He added the BJP government has not done anything for the people of Bihar. He said the promises made by Modi ji in 2014 and 2019 were not fulfilled. Yadav added the public is tired of BJP’s statements and false promises. He said the opposition has promised that they will give a special package to Bihar along with special status.

Tejashwi Yadav said today the rally is with Rahul Gandhi ji in Bhagalpur. The entire INDIA Bloc and the Mahagathbandhan are working together. The RJD leader pointed out that unemployment is the biggest issue in Bihar. He said other important issues being faced by the people of Bihar are poverty, inflation, investment in the state. He said Migration and floods are also issues which need to be looked at.  He added the people of BJP are very worried. He said the people of BJP say that they will abolish the Constitution. He said those who destroy the Constitution will themselves be destroyed.

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