New Delhi: A five-judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India on Thursday, in four separate but concurring judgments, legalised same-sex relations between consenting adults.
The apex court was hearing a clutch of petitions challenging criminalisation of homosexuality. The five-judge bench was headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprised Justices Fali Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. The bench had reserved its verdict in the case on July 17.
The verdict Thursday was on five petitions moved by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur, The Indian Express reported.
During the four-day hearings earlier this year, the Centre had said it would not contest the petitions, and left the decision to the “wisdom of the court”. In its affidavit, the Ministry of Home Affairs said: “I state and submit that so far as the constitutional validity (of) Section 377 to the extent it applies to ‘consensual acts of adults in private’ is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court.”