Five-judge Constitution Bench to take a call on Section 377

The Supreme Court referred a batch of curative petitions against Section 377 to a five-judge Constitution Bench for a possible back-to-roots, in-depth hearing. Section 377

  • Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a colonial-era provision criminalising consensual sexual acts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) adults in private.

Details:

  • A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices Anil R. Dave and J.S. Khehar gave credence to arguments that the threat imposed by the provision amounts to denial of the rights to privacy and dignity and results in gross miscarriage of justice.
  • This Bench neither admitted the petitions nor issued notice to the government, leaving it to the future Constitution Bench to do so, if found necessary.
  • Chief Justice Thakur told — the Curative Bench will only entertain if petitioners prove that its review verdict violated principles of natural justice and the judges were biased — and opt for a comprehensive hearing of the arguments placed for the protection of the dignity and rights of the LGBT community.