Section 377 Supreme Court hearing LIVE updates: Natural orientation cannot be an offence, lawyer tells SC bench

Supreme Court hearing LATEST Updates: In a series of arguments, in a batch of petitions challenging the vires of Section 377 of the India Penal Code, Senior advocate Arvind Datar asks "when it is a natural orientation, then how can it be an offence?" He says the right to a sexual orientation is part of Article 21, while Justice Chandrachud says the right to choose a partner comes under Article 21, as held in the Hadiya judgement.

"The object of penal code is to identify an offence and punish for the same so that it acts as a deterrant. But when it is a natural orientation, then how can it be an offence", asks senior Advocate Arvind Datar. Datar goes onto say the rights of the LGBT community cannot be considered "so called" rights.

Section 377 criminalises a class of people — to say that it criminalises an act and not a class of people is not correct. Senior advocate Arvind Datar traced history of how laws relating to homosexuality have changed across the world and said that the 1860 Code was simply imposed on India and it did not represent even the will of the British Parliament.

In January, 2018, the Supreme Court had said that it will reconsider its 2013 judgment in Suresh Kumar Koushal, (Suresh Kumar Koushal & Ors. versus Naz Foundation & Ors). The top court in January had upheld the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises homosexuali...

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