On 6th September, the five-judge Bench partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalising same-sex relations between consenting adults. LGBT individuals are now legally allowed to engage in consensual intercourse. The Court has upheld provisions in Section 377 that criminalise non-consensual acts or sexual acts performed on animals.
Here are some opinion pieces which examines the judgment and the general struggle of the LGBT community.
1)Section 377: A Greater Transformation - Writing in The Hindu, Arvind Narain praises the judgment for explicitly stating that the “the purpose of having a constitution is to transform society” to “embrace therein” the “ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity”. The mandate to transform society in allegiance to the Constitution is a task vested in the state, the judiciary and the citizen.
2) The Supreme Court trans-formed - Jayna Kothari writes in The Hindu that the Navtej Johar judgment holds special significance for transgender rights as Section 377 was used disproportionately against transgender persons.
3)Section 377: Whose Concerns Does The Judgment Address? - Writing in EPW, Saptarshi Mandal strikes a discordant note by arguing that the outside the debate on act and identity, the judgment doesnot frame Section 377 as a tool of harassment, extortion, illegal arrest, detention and violence employed by the police against queer persons.
4)What next after Sec. 377? - Ashok Row Kawi warns the " the hitherto invisible citizen", (LGBT community) of a difficult journey in negotiating civil life through the maze of legal barriers that the State has set up.
5)Section 377: Drawing a curtain on the Past - Writing in The Hindu, Suhrith Parthasarthy argues that in striking down Section 377, the Supreme Court has recognised the Constitution’s extraordinary transformative power.