After IITians challenge Section 377, SC agrees to hear plea

Shalini Ojha

After IITians challenge Section 377, SC agrees to hear plea

17 May 2018: After IITians challenge Section 377, SC agrees to hear plea

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea filed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) LGBT alumni associations regarding the decriminalization of homosexuality.

However, the apex court has not set a date for the hearing.

The group of IITians from all over the country approached the court challenging the constitutional validity of IPC Section 377, that criminalizes homosexuality and 'unnatural' sex.

About: A brief introduction to the controversial Section 377

Section 377, introduced during colonial rule in 1861, criminalizing any sexual activity "against the order of nature", including anal sex, oral sex, penile penetration of "artificial orifices" and "penile-non-vaginal sexual acts".

If convicted, a person can be imprisoned for life or for a term up to ten years, and a fine.

About 200 people have been prosecuted under Section 377 till now.

Details: Who are the petitioners and what do they say

The group consists of 20 IITians, who claim to represent over 350 LGBT alumni, students and staff members of the prestigious institutes, and come from diverse backgrounds.

They argued Section 377 drove many LGBT members to clinical depression and relegated them to 'second class citizens'.

They further said Section 377 left a deep impact on them, hence they decided to do something.

Fact: 377 causes suffering to members of LGBT community: IITians

"The silence of our legislative wing to even consider debating the need for the existence of this law is shameful. One can only imagine the amount of suffering and pain that Section-377 has caused and continues to cause in lives of LGBT individuals across the country," they said.

Long overdue: India needs to break open its closet, this time forever

With recent landmark judgements - right to privacy, banning triple talaq and including a third gender (trans people) - India has taken great strides towards a more inclusive tomorrow.

Homosexuality is no disorder/disease or a temporary inclination. It's a way of life. Indians would accept it once the law does.

Australia legalized same-sex marriage last December. It's time India breaks open its closet too.