Thursday’s landmark judgment decriminalising homosexuality marks a big victory for personal rights. Here are the top quotes from the SC bench.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s historic judgment decriminalising homosexuality was peppered with some heartwarming observations, as well as several pointed reiterations of the right to personal liberty.
A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, passed a unanimous verdict, with four concurring judgments, reading down the draconian Colonial-era Section 377.
“Take me as I am,” said CJI Misra, quoting the German philosopher Nietzsche.
Here are some of the top quotes from the judgments:
By CJI Misra & Justice Khanwilkar:
“The LGBT community has the same rights as any ordinary citizen. Respect for each other’s rights, and others are supreme humanity. Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible.”
“Section377 is arbitrary. The LGBT community possesses rights like others. Majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights.”
“Morality can’t be social, has to be constitutional.”
“Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of freedom of speech and expression.”
“Ideals of individual autonomy must be preserved.”
“Denial of self expression is like death.”
“No one can escape who they are…No one can escape from their individualism. Society is now better for individualism. In the present case, our deliberations will be on various spectrums.”
By Justice Nariman:
Holds that homosexuality cannot be regarded as mental disorder, says Mental Healthcare Act has been discussed and even Parliament has recognised that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.
“Homosexuals have right to live with dignity.”
By Justice Chandrachud:
“Human sexuality cannot be confined to a binary.”
“What is natural and what is unnatural? Who decides these questions?”
“Section 377 inflicts tragedy and anguish; it has to be remedied.”
By Justice Indu Malhotra:
“History owes an apology to these people and their families. Homosexuality is part of human sexuality. They have the right of dignity and free of discrimination. Consensual sexual acts of adults are allowed for LGBT community.”
Sources: @LiveLawIndia Twitter handle, @ANI Twitter handle, @barandbench Twitter handle, moneycontrol.com, CNN18 TV, ThePrint reporters
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