Govt Must Take Steps to Disseminate 377 Judgment: Justice Nariman
Government officials will also receive sensitisation in the matter, Justice Nariman said.
A monumental judgment by a five-judge Constitution Bench on Thursday, 6 September, read down Section 377 of the IPC which criminalised homosexual acts between consenting adults in India.
The bench, constituted by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra had reserved the verdict on 17 July on the conclusion of arguments. They delivered individual but concurrent judgments on Thursday.
Asserting the rights of homosexuals to live with dignity, Justice Nariman added that the government and media must take active steps to “disseminate” the judgment and create awareness and counter the prejudice. Moreover, he noted that government officials and police will also receive sensitisation on the issue.
The judgment states:
“We are also of the view that the Union of India shall take all measures to ensure that this judgment is given wide publicity through the public media, which includes television, radio, print and online media at regular intervals, and initiate programs to reduce and finally eliminate the stigma associated with such persons.”
“Above all, all government officials, including and in particular police officials, and other officers of the Union of India and the States, be given periodic sensitization and awareness training of the plight of such persons in the light of the observations contained in this judgment.”
‘Suresh Koushal No Longer a Good Law’
Suresh Koushal was no longer good law in view of NALSA and Puttaswamy judgments, Justice Nariman observed. The NALSA judgment declared transgender people to identify as 'third gender', whereas the Puttaswamy judgment declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right.
Nariman further observed that homosexuality cannot be regarded as a mental disorder by taking recourse to the Mental Healthcare Act, as per which, the Parliament has recognised the same, Bar and Bench reported.
He also relied on foreign jurisprudence, including a judgment from Trinidad and Tobago, the report added.
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