justice AP Shah
Justice AP Shah (left) with Professor Amitabh Mattoo.Creative Commons/Australia India Institute

Law Commission Chairman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah said on Monday the Supreme Court's December 2013 decision to upheld Section 377 of the IPC and re-criminalise gay sex was constitutionally wrong as it deprives homosexuals of basic rights and also affects them psychologically.

"Section 377 is discriminatory in its application, unreasonable in its intent, deprives a group of its personal autonomy and violates individual privacy and human dignity," Justice Shah said, PTI reports.

Shah condemned SC's decision and spoke in support of the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) community.

"Consequences of the laws in our country on gay sex include damage to the psychological well being of homosexuals, encouragement of violence and facilitation of police harassment and discrimination against the LGBT community," Shah said.

He was speaking at the launch of book, "Sexual orientation and Gender Identity", by former Australian High Court judge Justice Michael Kirby. The event was organised by the Society of India Law Firms (SILF) at Hyatt Regency in New Delhi.

The book is inspired by Kirby's lectures on the rights of the LGBT community delivered in at the Tagore Law Lectures at Calcutta University in 2013.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had, earlier this year, criticised India for upholding Section 377, which he referred to as "India's colonial-era law". He had said the law criminalising same-sex relationships violate fundamental rights and "breed intolerance".


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