The Supreme Court bench which is headed by CJI Dipak Misra on Monday referred Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality to a larger bench of the court, saying a 2013 verdict that upholds the imposing law needed consideration. The CJI Dipak Misra said the apex court will review the constitutional validity of IPC Section 377.
Considering the petition by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the petitioners had raised larger issues of “privacy, equality, dignity and expression”.
As per the court bench “A section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear,” “Taking all aspects in a cumulative manner, we are of the view that earlier decision in the S K (Suresh Kumar) Koushal case requires reconsideration.”
Section 377 of IPC says: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.” It further referred the plea against the Section to a larger bench.