TIME's 100 Most Influential People: Litigators Menaka Guruswamy, Arundhati Katju named in 2019 edition

FP Staff
Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju were instrumental in the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code

Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, who were instrumental in the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, are among the 100 people named in TIME magazine's list of most influential people for the year 2019.

The Supreme Court of India struck down parts of Section 377 in an unanimous verdict delivered on 6 September 2018, thus decriminalising 'unnatural' sex.

"I am a great believer in the Constitution and the Supreme Court, and the potential of both to expand freedom in India... We are not just a country of 1.3 billion Indians. We are 1.3 billion Constitutional stakeholders, and the Court spoke for all of India yesterday," said Menaka to Bar and Bench, in the aftermath of the verdict.

The judgment came on writ petitions filed by journalist Sunil Mehra, dancer Navtej Jauhar, chef Ritu Dalmia, business executive Ayesha Kapur, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and 20 former and current students of the IITs.

"Armed with a well-planned strategy that went beyond their well-researched legal arguments, Arundhati and Menaka became beacons of hope for the Indian LGBTQ+ community. Their perseverance and commitment led an entire community to a historic win by humanizing their struggles and giving them the freedom to love," reads a profile written by Priyanka Chopra for the duo.

TIME's list also includes comedian and TV host Hasan Minhaj, Tiger Woods, Mohamed Salah, Pope Francis, Donald Trump, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

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