What the stars had to say about IPC Section 377

Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan: I am more disappointed with this judgement. It feels very intolerant and violative of basic human rights. It’s a shame.

Onir: I am angry by the SC ruling on IPC 377. Very very disappointed that the bench of the Supreme Court hold us to regressive colonial 153-year-old IPC 377. A dark day for the history of judiciary and human rights in India.

Celina Jaitly: I cannot believe Supreme Court’s decision. I have been in shock since it came. Such a contradiction of democracy.

Karan Johar: Section 377 is not just a violation of human rights but also makes democracy seem like a mirage in our country.
Shekhar Kapur: Cops asking for bribes and innocent young people getting beaten up thru homophobia provoked by #sec377 Whats else is Supreme Court’s point?

Konkona Sen Sharma: You cannot tell someone whom to love or how to think!

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Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra: It’s scary that we can have rulings like this.

Ayushmann Khurrana: The ruling is shameful and is the lowest ebb of democracy & mankind. Welcome to the dark ages #Sec377.

Bipasha Basu: It is prejudiced and it goes against the right to equality!

Parineeti Chopra: No legal system of any country can decide who you want to love.

Vidya Balan: #Sec377 is a stain on all Indians, and not merely its gay populace.

Anushka Sharma: Taking away someone’s freedom is the hugest violation in my personal opinion.

Soha Ali Khan Pataudi: I am shocked by the regressive ruling. It’s an international embarrassment.

Siddharth Malhotra

Siddharth Malhotra: We are free to love who ever we want, laws can’t give you guidelines.

Sujoy Ghosh: I think it’s a damn good opportunity for the parliament to do the right thing and scrap the law forever”

Imtiaz Ali: “A basic right, a natural choice is being axed.

Malaika Arora Khan: We’re getting condemned for making love, while violence happens in broad daylight.

Varun Dhawan: #Sec377 is plain stupid. It’s as good as still being a slave.

Vivek Oberoi: An extremely regressive ruling!

Arjun Kapoor: It’s sad that the govt would call it a criminal offense to love someone of our own choice.

John Abraham: India has harboured archaic prejudices once again… The Supreme Court has criminalized homosexuality… Shame.

Farhan Akhtar

Farhan Akhtar: The Supreme Court got it wrong today. Sec377.

Madhur Bhandarkar: Just when we thought we are looking into the future, comes a judgment that treats us like we are in the stone age. The disappointment is justified.

Chetan Bhagat: What?! Consensual gay sex ruled illegal in 2014? Shows you how badly India needs new young leaders with a modern outlook.

Shruti Haasan: 11.12.13 a day that reminds us how blatant regressing and oppressing someone has become – plan b move bedroom to another planet and time.

Sudhir Mishra: The decision declaring gay consensual sex illegal betrays a primitive Victorian mind. It is certainly not Indian.

Kunal Kohli: On 11-12-13 Supreme Court goes back to the medieval ages with Section 377.

Anupam Kher: We obviously don’t believe in equal rights even in the times when we send Mangalayan to Mars.

Kalki Koechlin: Supreme Court’s job is to uphold the right and freedom of every individual, not to decide what is culturally acceptable or not. In this case they failed.

Shruti Seth: So while the world is trying to legalise gay marriage, here’s what we’re doing as a nation. Such a disgrace!

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Reitesh Deshmukh

Riteish Deshmukh: Supreme Mis-judgement.

Nikhil Advani: Welcome to the medieval ages! It was only a matter of time.

Neha Dhupia: How can love be illegal?

Rahul Bose: So much for those believing the judiciary is ‘the last bastion of common sense’ in this country.

Vinay Pathak: Supreme Court – Straight or scared!

Milap Zaveri: Nothing supreme about the court’s decision. Shocked and disappointed at the anti-gay verdict.

Vir Das: Today is 11.12.13. Unless you work in our Supreme Court, in which case it’s the year 1826.

Sandhya Mridul: The courts are unfortunately only following the law of the land, which are as old as the dinosaurs. Blame the legislature more than Supreme Court!

Hansal Mehta: Does India not have a single gay judge? Or does being gay mean that you can only be unfairly judged?

Siddharth: India is a bigot nation. I pray that every person who tries to deny another person their rights gets IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). Bigots beware.

Richa Chadda
Richa Chadda

Richa Chadda: The Supreme Court criminalises love, again. Sad day.

Nachiket Barve: The problems of this world are because of what happens ‘without consent’ rather than what happens between ‘consenting adults’! wake up!

Shabana Azmi: Shocking judgement! Upholding 377 is violative of human rights n anti democratic. SC says Parliament shud scrap 377- it MUST. Criminal? How?

Making criminals of us all

Fri Dec 13 2013, 00:23 hrs
Menaka Guruswamy

The 377 judgment is not about gay sex alone. It bans ‘unnatural’ sexual acts, irrespective of gender, age or consent.

The judgment in Suresh Kumar Kaushal vs Naz Foundation (Kaushal) does not only criminalise “gay sex”, as has been widely reported. Undeniably, the judgment ignores the constitutional rights of millions of LGBT Indian citizens (as opposed to what Justice Singhvi calls the minuscule LGBT community and their “so-called rights”). However, Kaushal criminalises certain sexual acts performed by same- and opposite-sex couples that can be classified as “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”.

What are these acts, we may ask? According to the court, “the acts which fall within the ambit of the section can only be determined with reference to the act itself and the circumstances in which it is executed”. The court then refers to a series of cases that involved the commission of these criminal acts. These include cases like R vs Jacobs (1917), which deals with the commission of sodomy, and Khanu vs Emperor (1934), which deals with carnal intercourse with a bullock. Further, the judgment refers to a series of cases that relate to anal sex being performed on young boys in Lohana vs the State (1968), Fazal Rab Choudhary vs State of Bihar (1982) and Kedar Nath vs State of Rajasthan (1985). Finally, the court referred to Calvin Francis vs Orissa (1992), which involved forcing a six-year-old child to perform oral sex.

Justice Singhvi relies on these cases to conclude that the acts that fall within the ambit of Section 377 “can be determined with reference to the act itself and the circumstances in which it is executed”. The judges rightly reason that these cases all deal with non-consensual and coercive situations. They observe that they “were apprehensive whether the court would rule similarly in a case of proved consensual intercourse between adults.” However, they use this alleged apprehension to conclude that it is difficult to prepare a list of acts covered by the section. Strange, given that the precedent points to coercive sex involving children or animals as being the problem, and not simply acts of anal or oral sex.

However, it is not this flawed reasoning that is the biggest problem in Kaushal. It is the next step that confounds. Despite accepting that the cases pertain to coercive sex, the judge finds that Section 377 will apply irrespective of age and consent. He goes on to say that the section itself does not criminalise “a particular people or identity or orientation. It merely identifies certain acts which if committed would constitute an offence. Such a prohibition regulates sexual conduct regardless of gender identity and orientation”.

Kaushal has further missteps. The first pertains to non-consideration of substantial and significant contentions made. Justice Singhvi writes that the respondents did not furnish particulars of harassment and assault of sexual minorities by public authorities. This is a shocking lapse by the judge, since affidavits were filed by a transgendered person, and a gay man from Delhi — both of whom were gangraped by the police. These affidavits were read in a sombre courtroom by senior counsel Ashok Desai. In addition, a reported judgment, Jayalakshmi vs State (2007), which dealt with the rape of a transgendered man by the police, was also part of the record. The Madras High Court found that this was rape by the police, awarded compensation of Rs 5 lakh and directed disciplinary action. Reports from civil society actors that spoke to the harassment that gay and lesbian Indians faced were also filed.

The interveners also filed compelling affidavits of parents of LGBT children that spoke of the stigma and discrimination their children faced in daily life. Justice Singhvi either neglected to consider the evidence by way of affidavits that were adduced, or ignored them altogether. Such non-consideration is a manifest error.

Then there is the judge’s jurisprudential inconsistency. He writes that the court must exercise self-restraint in judicial review and that there should be a presumption of constitutionality of legislation. The judge is right in citing these as general principles. Yet, this has never been a barrier to finding unconstitutional that which violates the protections afforded by our Constitution. This same judge in Delhi Jal Board vs National Campaign for Dignity and Rights of Sewerage and Allied Workers & Others, in 2011, declared that “whenever the judiciary has issued directions for ensuring that the right to equality, life and liberty no longer remains illusory… a theoretical debate is started by raising the bogey of judicial activism or judicial overreach”. In this case, Justice Singhvi upheld the Delhi High Court’s orders providing free medical treatment, compensation for occupational illnesses, provision of modern equipment, soap and oil, restrooms, canteens and ex-gratia payments for deaths.

This judgment has other jurisprudential flaws, like a lack of discussion of the violation of the rights to expression, life, liberty and dignity. Its analysis of the violation of equality rights reflects a poor understanding of the case law. It fails to engage any of the contentions made by the respondents and the interveners.

Perhaps the Kaushal bench would have done well to remember Jawaharlal Nehru’s words of warning. In September 1949, speaking in the Constituent Assembly, Nehru said that “unless and until the courts are empowered and the courts are the final arbiters of the civil rights and liberties of the people, I feel that if the legislatures alone are given the power we are coming to a point where fiats of executive officers will deny us our rights and this is very wrong”.

By criminalising consensual sexual acts of adults in private (which the Delhi High Court read out of the purview of Section 377), the Kaushal bench did worse than what Nehru imagined. Instead of protecting the rights of consenting adults, it chose to negate the decision of the executive of not contesting the high court’s judgment. The executive stated that it saw no legal error in the decision and hence found no reason to appeal against it. The attorney general categorically told the court that his instructions were that the government has accepted the decision of the high court. Strangely, the judgment ascribes to the attorney general the role of amicus. This is blatantly wrong.

The final problem with Kaushal is that it is an exception to the jurisprudence of the SC. From the banning of bonded labour in Bandhua Mukti Morcha vs Union of India, to ensuring the right to healthcare for suffering asbestos workers in CERC vs Union, to crafting guidelines pertaining to arrest, custody and interrogation of the accused in D.K. Basu vs State of West Bengal, the apex court has always expanded rights and protected the historically disadvantaged and socially vulnerable. Kaushal, by belittling the “so-called rights of LGBT persons”, is the exception to this jurisprudential trajectory.

But before Suresh Kumar Kaushal and his compatriots — the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Trust God Missionaries, Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha and others — rejoice, they should be aware that this judgment criminalises certain prospective acts of their members as well. It criminalises all of us. It diminishes the constitutional promises of equality, dignity and fraternity for and by all Indians.

The writer practices law at the Supreme Court of India. She represented filmmaker Shyam Benegal, an intervener, in this case.



When : Sunday, 15th December. 2013. 3pm onwards

The Protest gathering against IPC 377 will be formally at Maheshwari Udyan Park, Matunga on Sunday, 15th December @ 3PM to 6PM.

1. Spread the word.
2. Get everyone you know
3. Wear Black
4. Or Black Ribbon
5. Bring candles
6. Bring banners//posters//placards
7. Wear mask if need be
8. Art accessories for poster making will be provided at the venue. Limited supplies though.
9. Black ribbon & candles will be provided at the venue. Limited supplies though.
10. Click pictures on your way to the venue, and post them across social media platforms.
11. Display your banner & placards in trains, buss, or prominent spaces on your way to the venue.
12. We need speakers to address the crowd, in many languages as possible. (Topics of discussion I have mentioned in the 12th Dec meeting minutes)

Time is set people, lets show them minority might

Big brands bring out their creativity, support LGBT movement amidst Supreme Court ruling on Section 377

Friday, Dec 13, 2013, 21:12 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Web Team

Vishal Manve

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pronounced its verdict on a bunch of petitions challenging the Delhi High Court judgement decriminalising gay sex among consenting adults in private. dna takes a look at all the brands and the messages conveyed in support of the LGBT community.
– DNA Web Team

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India took a regressive step and upheld Section 377 of IPC that legalises consensual relations between homosexual people. This law was called unconstitutional and referred to the Parliament for further citation.

Members of the community expressed shock and betrayal over this criminalisation as they could not believe that a law that was passed in 2009 would be repealed pushing them back into the ‘closet existence’.

While many celebrities and politicians expressed their ire followed by the civil society, even brands had a story to tell quite creatively. we take a look here:

1. Amul

Amul is known for taking up current affairs and issues as part of its campaign-advertisements.

Sticking true to taking a stand, Amul shows its mascot, ‘Amul girl’ bidding adieu to freedom of choice.


2. Tanishq

Tanishq had garnered a ‘thumbs up’ for its advertisement featuring a woman getting remarried.

Now, sticking true to its earlier stand, Tanishq reiterates its stand on ‘Free choice to right’ with this poster. Extremely vocal about gay rights, this ad is a winner promoting the jewellery brand while standing for a cause.


3. Fastrack

Known to focus on the ‘youth brigade’, fast track has really outdone itself with this campaign.

The brand had created similar posters after the High Court verdict and decided to be vocal about the #SEC377 of IPC and human rights with two posters.

-Taking the quote ‘Come out of the closet’ quite literally.




4. Collezioni Moda

Lifestyle and accessories brand Collezioni Moda strongly protested against Supreme Court’s decision by releasing a poster with a strong message that was a paraphrasing of the title, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’


5.Random House India

Leading English-language book publisher Random House questioned the validity of Supreme Court’s judgement by featuring Benjamin Law’s book Gaysia and asking people for their opinion on the judgement.


6. Poster by Jawaharlal Nehru university’s students

A poster depicting an altered national emblem where two lions are seen ‘Kissing’ while the third one is expressing shock was applauded by Twitter users.

Even ‘Satyamev Jayate’ has been changed to ‘state of love,’ to convey the message strongly.

satyamev jayate

7. Allen Solly

A two-decade old men’s fashion brand Allen Solly came out in support of the gay community with a strong poster.


8. Night-club KittySu

The night-club KittySu posted a tweet along with an image in support of the LGBT community.


9. Simply Potatoes

Simply Potatoes, an initiative by WTF hospitality also supported the LGBT community with a cutesy poster featuring two potatoes and caption, ‘Love needs no law’. Kudos!


10. Hidesign

Indian luxury brand Hidesign supported repealing of section 377 with this poster strongly.


11. Beforeafter.in

Shopping portal Beforeafter.in came out with a coupon that will deduct a total of Rs 337 INR from the final bill.

This probably was a strong way of passing the message against Supreme courts judgement criminalising gay sex.


Author’s take: After the Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court’s judgement against section 377, social media has been buzzing with protests such as, ‘gay for a day’ and twitter has been buzzing with hashtags, #377, #GayRights #SCHearing amongst others.

People have pro-actively taken to expressing their dissent over the decision. So, when established and new brands entered the fray by supporting the cause, it shows the general public sentiment.

A sad day for India and for the world: American LGBT organisation All Out


Thursday, Dec 12, 2013, 13:30 IST | Place: Washington, DC | Agency: IANS

A top American LGBT organisation with a membership of more than a million, described the Supreme Court’s decision as “a sad day for India and for the world”.

Expressing concern over the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling restoring the ban on gay sex, the US has expressed its opposition to “any action that criminalises consensual same-sex conduct between adults”.

“The United States places great importance on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people and that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons around the world,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday.

Noting that Secretary of State John Kerry had made a reference to LGBT persons in his statement on human rights day, she said: “We oppose any action that criminalizes consensual same-sex conduct between adults.”

“LGBT rights are human rights,” Psaki said. “That’s something you’ve heard Secretary Kerry say, I believe Secretary (Hillary) Clinton say before him, and we call on all governments to advance equality for LGBT individuals around the world.”

Asked if the US was planning to reach out to the Indian government to convey its views on the issue, she said: “We are in regular touch about these issues and others with India.”

On its expectations of steps from the Indian Government or whether the US would encourage India to repeal the law, the spokesperson said: “That’s a decision that the Indian government would make.”

“We obviously don’t make decisions on behalf of other governments and their legislation. So I expressed our deep concern about any efforts around the world to not recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, and that’s a message we’ll continue to convey.”

The spokesperson was not sure whether the issue was discussed with the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, but sources said Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, did refer to it during a meeting with her Wednesday.

Meanwhile, All Out, a top American LGBT organisation with a membership of more than a million, described the Supreme Court’s decision as “a sad day for India and for the world”.

“No one should have to go to jail because of who they are or who they love. We stand in solidarity with India’s human rights community,” said Joe Mirabella, director of communications.

“Today’s ruling is a setback,” said Sapna Pandya, president of the Washington based Khush DC, an organisation of South Asian gay community.

“But it doesn’t take away from the fact that the recent past has seen promise for LGBTQ rights in not just India, but also other South Asian countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal,” she said.

“We stand in solidarity with the brave activists in South Asia and worldwide who have taken such huge leaps in recent years and know they will continue the fight for equality in spite of the disappointment we all feel today,” Pandya said.