Section 377
Supreme Court to hear pleas challenging gay sex law on Tuesday.Reuters

The Supreme Court will begin hearing a few pleas challenging the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code on Tuesday (July 10).

This law which criminalises homosexuality or any non penile-vaginal intercourse, even between two consenting adults, is considered draconian by many and several LGBTQ members and activists have been fighting hard to decriminalise it.

The petition challenging Section 377 will be heard by a five-judge bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra and headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

Live Updates

2018-07-1014:58 (IST)

Arvind Dattar on Section 377

The hearing of the petitions have resumed post-lunch. Senior advocate Arvind Dattar is now arguing for the petitioner.

 He is of the opinion that having a different sexual orientation can't be treated as a crime.

"The SC judgement on privacy said sexual orientation essential attribute of privacy. That eclipses Section 377 IPC and makes it liable to be struck down," TIE quoted Dattar as saying.

2018-07-1012:19 (IST)

Rohatgi's fights for sexual minorities

Rohatgi also said that Section 377 is a product of the "Victorian morality".

"Position of ancient India was much different, he says and refers to Shikhandi of Mahabharata & the Khajuraho caves," TIE quoted the former AG as saying.

2018-07-1012:16 (IST)

Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi's take on Section 377

Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is of the view that the provision remaining in statute book has led society to look at "sexual minorities" with aversion. He feels that Constitutional morality should override it, reported Indian Express.

2018-07-1012:04 (IST)

Some want Section 377 to stay

While a few people want India to do away with the draconian law, others feels that homosexuality is a crime.

2018-07-1012:01 (IST)

Twitter supports decriminalisation of Section 377

A section of people on Twitter is of the opinion that it is high time that homosexuality should be legalised in India.

2018-07-1011:56 (IST)

LGBT activists hopeful

LGBT activists are of the opinion that they should be treated equally under the law.

2018-07-1011:52 (IST)

Hearing of petitions begins

Supreme Court of India
A television journalist sets his camera inside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi February 18, 2014.REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Constitution bench of Supreme Court begins hearing the pleas seeking scrapping of Section 377 of IPC which criminalises homosexuality.

2018-07-1011:47 (IST)

Sexual minorities in Bangalore hopeful

Dr. Akkai Padmashali
Dr. Akkai PadmashaliFacebook

Akkai Padmasahali, one of the petitioners and an LGBT activist has high hopes from the SC.

2018-07-1011:41 (IST)

List of six petitions to be hard by SC

Here's the list of six petitions that the SC will hear today:

  • Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India (UOI), WP (Crl) No. 76/2016
  • Akkai Padmashali v. UOI, WP(C) No.572/2016
  • Keshav Suri v. UOI, WP (Crl) No.88 of 2018
  •  Arif Jafar v. UOI, WP(Crl) No.100/2/18
  •  Ashok Row Kavi & others v. UOI, WP(Crl) No.101/2018
  •  Anwesh Pokkuluri v. UOI, WP (Crl) No. 121/2018
2018-07-1010:41 (IST)

Subramanian Swamy opposes dercriminalisation of Section 377

Even though Iyer has quoted lines from Kama Sutra, an ancient Hindu text written by Vātsyāyana to argue against the draconian law, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has opposed the dercriminalisation of Section 377.

2018-07-1010:06 (IST)

Reference from holy texts of Hindus

Among the applications accepted by the apex court is a one which has taken reference from the holy texts of the Hindus like Bhagavad Gita. This petition was filed by a Mumbai-based activist Harish Iyer.

"The Kama Shastra acknowledges third-gender marriages wherein same-sex couples with great attachment and complete faith in one another get married," the application quoted a section from the Kama Sutra, reported HT.

"I have filed this application as an individual who has been directly affected by Section 377. Over the past decade, I have faced prejudice," Iyer said.

2018-07-1009:48 (IST)

Which previous judgements are being quoted?

Representational image.
Representational image.Creative Commons.

A few previous judgements are being taken into consideration by the the supporters of the gay law to justify why India should do away with laws against homosexuality. 

According to case called National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa) versus Union of India judgement, which dates back to 2014, equal social and legal status was granted to the transgender community,.

The other judgement which the petitioners will be quoting is the 2017 Justice K.S Puttaswamy (Retd) and Anr versus Union of India case, which had ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right. It had also said that sexual orientation was an essential attribute of privacy.

2018-07-1009:39 (IST)

Petitions to quote from references

In order to justify that homosexuality is not a crime, the petitioners have drawn various references from previous verdicts and even instances from religious texts.

2018-07-1009:15 (IST)

Bench to hear 6 petitions

The bench will be hearing six petitions, which have been filed by an NGO Naz Foundation, parents of sexual minorities and Voices Against 377, a collective of human rights groups, reported Hindustan Times.