Delhi High Court Decriminalises Homosexuality

India moves closer to civil rights for all its citizens, in the Hindustan Times:

It observed that the inclusiveness that the Indian society traditionally displayed in every aspect of life manifested in recognising a role in society for everyone.

“Those perceived by the majority as ‘deviants’ or ‘different’ are not on that score excluded or ostracised,” the Chief Justice writing the judgement for the Bench, said.

Where society can display inclusiveness and understanding, such persons can be assured of a life of dignity and non-discrimination, it said.

“This was the spirit behind the resolution of which Jawaharlal Nehru spoke so passionately,” the Bench said referring to the Objective Resolution moved by him on December 13, 1946 at the Constituent Assembly debate.

Quoting Nehru, Justice Shah said “words are magic things often enough, even the magic of words sometimes cannot convey magic of human spirit and of a nation’s passion …(this resolution seeks very feebly to tell the world of what we have thought or dreamt of so long, and what we now hope to achieve in near future)”.

He said Nehru was of the view that the House should consider the resolution not in a spirit of narrow legal wording, but rather look at the spirit behind that resolution.

The Bench was critical of the provision of section 377 of IPC holding that “a provision of law branding one section of people as criminal based wholly on states’ moral disapproval of that class goes counter to equality guaranteed in the Constitution.”

“The provision of section 377 runs counter to the Constitutional values and the notion of human dignity which is considered to be cornerstone of our constitution.