New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday described the Supreme Court decision decriminalising homosexuality as a “dawn of freedom” as the “government has no space in bedrooms“. Talking to reporters, Tharoor said, “We allowed the government to interfere in our private lives but the apex court has stood up to uphold the dignity of the people. This is not sex, this is freedom as the government has no space in bedrooms as this is a private act between consenting adults. This is a dawn of freedom.” Also Read - COVID-19 Lockdown: Supreme Court to Hear Plea on Migrant Workers on Monday
He went on to add that when he tried to move a private members bill in the Lok Sabha on two occasions, he was shouted down by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members. Also Read - 'Stand Together With Govt But Sudden Lockdown Created Immense Panic', Rahul Gandhi Writes to PM
“I then said it’s only the judiciary that can do anything and through this judgment, it shames those BJP members who opposed this,” said Tharoor. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: Health Officials Suggest Masturbating Can be Good For You During This Outbreak
Earlier in the day, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had junked, albeit partially, Section 377 of the IPC. Taking up the cause of the LGBT community, the bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices RF Nariman, DY Chandrachud, AM Khanwilkar, and Indu Malhotra had said while they had four different judgments, they were unanimous in the decision.
As soon the judgment came, he tweeted, “So pleased to learn that the SupremeCourt 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.”
The top court delivering separate but concurring judgments said it is the constitutional and not social morality which will prevail. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also speaking for Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, said attitude and mentality have to change to accept the others’ identity and accept what they are and not what they should be.
The Bench had been hearing pleas challenging the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). This year, in July 2018, the Bench had re-opened the issue, saying a section of people could not live in fear of the law. The apex court heard the writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur and 20 former and current IIT students. They had sought decriminalization of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring section 377 of IPC as illegal and unconstitutional. On July 17, the Bench had asserted that it will not wait for a “majoritarian government” to decide on enacting, amending or striking down a law that tends to violate the fundamental rights.
(With agency inputs)