New Delhi, July 12: The Supreme Court began hearing pleas which seek scrapping of Section 377 for the third consecutive day on Thursday. The arguments were opened by Shyam Divan. (Live Updates)
Meanwhile, in their observations, the judges of the bench spoke in one voice about the discrimination that members of LGBTQ community face in our society. Justice Indu Malhotra said, “Social pressures, societal pressures force them to not approach medical help. In small towns and villages, even metropolises, people afraid to go seek medical treatment due to stigma. This leads to bisexuality because they are forced to get into marriages. By treating it as illegal, there are various ramifications on society.”
Later, Justice DY Chandrachud said that our society had deep-rooted discrimination against people of a particular sexual orientation. “If Section 377 goes, we hope that society’s values will change,” he said. Mulling over the consequences of scrapping Section 377, CJI Dipak Misra observed,”Once decriminalisation is there, they will feel empowered. You need to show us if there is any rule that says they can’t get access. ..There is a stigma because of criminality attached to it. Once criminality goes then they can be intimate, take up a job, there cannot be any prohibition. Can you show us there’s any prohibition? The stigma is due to the criminal provision.” (Also read: Supreme Court Hints at Legalising Homosexuality)
Arguing for the petitioners, senior advocate Ashok Desai said that homosexuality as same-sex love was not alien to Indian culture. He recounted how Justice Leila Seth had said that her son, author Vikram Seth, “was now turned into a criminal” after the Koushal judgement.