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Monday, June 25, 2018

Supreme Court ‘backward step’ on Sec 377: Justice Lokur

In January, the SC bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra referred the matter regarding constitutional validity of Section 377, which criminalises same-sex relations between consenting adults. 

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Published: March 13, 2018 3:07:24 am
Supreme Court ‘backward step’ on Sec 377: Justice Lokur Supreme Court of India. (File)

The apex court has taken a “backward” step by interpreting Section 377 of Indian Penal Code and “curtailing the rights of gay” people, Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur said on Monday. Justice Lokur, part of the SC collegium, said that it “has to be debated and discussed to what extent” does the collegium open regarding its functioning.

“…So far as other vulnerable groups are concerned, the LGBT community, and particularly the transgender community, has attracted a lot of discussion and discourse. The Supreme Court took a forward step …and ordered that transgenders are also human beings and that they have rights like anybody else…. But I’m not sure if the society has accepted them,” Justice Lokur said at the annual human rights lecture of Commonwealth Human Right Initiative.

The apex court, he said, has “also taken a backward step by interpreting Section 377 (of IPC) and curtailing the rights of gays. But that matter is very much alive in SC and I would not like to say very much about it.”

In January, the SC bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra referred the matter regarding constitutional validity of Section 377, which criminalises same-sex relations between consenting adults.  Speaking on “The state of Human Rights and Limits of Jurisprudence”, Justice Lokur, pointing at “transparency in judiciary”, said: “There are certain vital ingredients when we look at justice delivery and effectiveness. One is having independent judiciary…. Parliament sometime transgresses constitutional limits and therefore judiciary has to step in and strike down a law…. This happened when SC struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and said that it violated basic structure of Constitution.”

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