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'If A Privileged Me Can't Be A Judge, What Hope For Other Homosexuals?': Kirpal

Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal discusses being rejected by Centre despite collegium's proposal, and a lot more.

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Saurabh Kirpal— a man who dons several roles in his life. Yet, it is the ‘going to be the first openly-gay judge of India’ tag that invariably headlines his multi-faceted personality even if the fact is far from true.

Kirpal, however, doesn’t hesitate to take such tags in stride on the account of his sexuality inspiring someone, especially in small towns to break free from the closet and brave systemic odds.

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His new book ‘Fifteen Judgements’ maps the cases that influenced India’s financial landscape post-independence and its long-term economic impact. In an exclusive chat with The Quint, Kirpal discusses how the queer experience in India is equivalent to being perceived as an imminent threat to the socio-cultural fabric and ethos of the nation, long after Section 377 was decriminalised in 2018.

“When Indian mythology, the Vedas, recognise homosexuality and its prevalence in our culture, it’s baffling how our politicians and bureaucrats can be so far behind in accepting queer community,” Kirpal comments. “Those in positions of power should understand there is nothing ‘unnatural’ or ‘immoral’ about being gay in the vast spectrum of sexual orientation,” he adds.

Speaking on the dichotomy between opposing the collegium system and finding his name as a recommendation to the Delhi HC bench, Kirpal says not all decisions taken are wrong but those shrouded in secrecy are unconstitutional and need to be reviewed judicially.

He addressed the issue of nepotism in the judicial business in the pre-liberalisation era and acknowledged his personal privilege of hailing from an upper-caste judge’s family. But, he adds, three decades later the situation has changed with first-generation lawyers thronging the legal business and heralding new hopes for this profession.

On being asked if his non-selection would be a setback, Kirpal weighs in on the challenges of being a judge and the many hardships one has to endure. So even though he is ready to take the verdict on his chin, it would turn the clock back for many like him seeking representation in the judiciary.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Indian Judiciary   Homosexuality   Podcast 

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