The Supreme Court today commenced a crucial hearing on a clutch of petitions seeking decriminalisation of consensual sex between two adults of the same gender.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it will also examine the correctness of its 2013 verdict that had set aside the Delhi High Court judgement decriminalising gay sex. The apex court had in 2013 restored sexual relationship between persons of the same sex as a criminal offence by setting aside the 2009 Delhi High Court judgement that had held as unconstitutional section 377 of the IPC, which makes such actions between two consenting adults of same sex as a penal offence. During the hearing today, the bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, said it would examine the constitutional validity of section 377 of the IPC and the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ (Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community.
Section 377 refers to ‘unnatural offences’ and says whoever voluntarily has carnal inter course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. When the hearing was about to commence on the batch of writ petitions, an advocate appearing for NGO Naaz Foundation, which was the first petitioner to approach the Delhi High Court in 2001 on the issue, sought permission to intervene.
VDC member commits suicide in Doda
A 60-year-old Village Defence Committee (VDC) member allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, a police official said today.
Baljeet Roy was found dead with a gun shot in his chest at Luddu Kansar village yesterday, the official said.
He said Roy was a VDC member and had used his licensed .303 rifle to end his life.
He was suffering from a disease and preliminary investigation suggested that he took the extreme step under depression.
Police have started inquest proceedings.
Fingers pointed at women will be chopped off: Haryana CM
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that if anyone dares to point fingers at women, their fingers will be chopped off.
Khattar further said that people accused of rape and molestation in Haryana will not be allowed to avail benefits from state schemes.
“Hamare yaha ek bhi behen beti ki taraf agar koi ungli uthayega to uski ungli kaat di jaayegi, aisa hum prabhand karenge (If anyone dares to point fingers at our women.their fingers will be chopped off. We will make arrangements regarding this),” Khattar said during the launch of Ek aur Sudhar project here.
After receiving criticism over his statement, Khattar later clarified stating that he didn’t mean for any barbarian rule towards anyone.
“Dekhiye kehne ki bhav ye hai ki sirf dandit karenge. Aisa koi barbarian rule hamara nahi hai(The intention of the statement was not a barbarian rule but to punish the accused/culprits),” Khattar told media here.
Khattar on Thursday said that if the accused is acquitted of all charges then that person can avail the benefits.
The Chief Minister also said that if a rape victim wants to hire a lawyer of her choice except for the one provided by the state government, she would be provided financial assistance of Rs 22,000.
Khattar also said that he will announce a comprehensive scheme for the safety and security of women either on Independence Day (August 15) or Raksha Bandhan (August 26).
President Kovind, PM Modi congratulate Hima Das for scripting history
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have applauded Hima Das, who recently became the first Indian woman to win gold at IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championships.
Taking to social media, President Kovind congratulated sprinter Das for her performance and said it is a “very proud” moment for Assam and India.
“Congratulations to our sensational sprint star Hima Das for winning the 400m gold in the World Under-20 Championship. This is India’s first ever track gold in a World Championship. A very proud moment for Assam and India, Hima; now the Olympic podium beckons! #PresidentKovind,” he tweeted.
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