In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Right to Privacy was a fundamental right. While announcing the verdict, the nine judge bench affirmed that right to privacy “is protected as an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty. The top court’s judgement reopens the debate over 2013 judgement which criminalises India’s LGBT community.
While pronouncing its order, SC asserted that “sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy,” adding that discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual orientation was an offense. “Yet in a democratic Constitution founded on the rule of law, their rights are as sacred as those conferred on other citizens to protect their freedoms and liberties. Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy,” the court observed.
“Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be
protected on an even platform. The right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution,” the judgement reads as.
A number of people on social media hailed the court’s decision while welcoming the move.
Super happy that the dastardly section 377 may now get crushed by our new fundamental right to privacy #LGBT
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) August 24, 2017
9. The judgment is a slam dunk for the 377 case. Effectively overrules Kaushal. There’s no case left to argue against it after this judgment
— Alok _______ _____ (@alokpi) August 24, 2017
377, watching porn, two finger test in rape cases- just some of the cases already pending before SC that will be impacted. https://t.co/SA8TVDH3nR
— Apurva Vishwanath (@apurva_hv) August 24, 2017
From the Right to Privacy judgment.
Dear Sec 377, RIP now 🙂 pic.twitter.com/nay22P80RW
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) August 24, 2017
The court on Thursday observed that the 2013 judgement was having a “chilling” effect on an individual’s fundamental lives. “The chilling effect is due to the danger of a human being subjected to social opprobrium or disapproval, as reflected in the punishment of crime,” the court stated.
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