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NUJS journal to assist Supreme Court Judges in gay rights appeal


The NUJS Law Review has launched a special issue on gay rights today, which the editors hope will help the Supreme Court when hearing the appeal against the Naz Foundation's section 377 victory.

The issue contains 12 articles by domestic and international jurists interpreting the revolutionary Naz Foundation judgement, where the Delhi High Court read down the controversial section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

NUJS Law Review editorial board member Abhyudaya Agarwal said that they had decided to bring out the gay rights special edition of the journal after the judgement in July.

"We wanted to come out with a publication covering all legal aspects so at the end of it we could come out with a special issue that could come out as a guide to the Supreme Court of India [in hearing the appeal]," he said.

He added that the journal attempted to cover every single legal issue and angle that could be presented to the Supreme Court on the topic.

In August the Supreme Court cited an article from the National Law School of India Review, which is published by the NLSIU Bangalore.

This is the seventh issue of NUJS' quarterly journal and runs to more than 200 pages.

Topics covered include a comprehensive legal analysis of the judgement and one essay questioning other avenues the court could have taken in reaching the same decision by attacking the "order of nature" wording of the statue under Article 14 of the constitution.

While no papers criticise the judgement on moral grounds, one paper opposes its constitutional and legal grounds.

Another essay analyses the jurisprudential and philosophical basis of the judgement, in the vein of Ronald Dworkin or H.L.A. Hart which Indian writers do not generally do, according to Agarwal.

The author NUJS Kolkata Pritam Baruah wrote that "the judgment reaches desirable conclusions but suffers from analytical rigour in its reasoning. It also calls for greater care in using concepts like dignity, privacy and autonomy in adjudication by highlighting some of the problems associated with their use."

Two NUJS students have also contributed an article, selected out of almost 20 student submissions from students at various Indian law schools.

The NUJS Law Review is edited by NUJS Kolkata students Salonika Kataria, Ushasi Khan, Abhishek Tripathy, Abhyudaya Agarwal, Mriganka Shekhar Dutta and Deepak Raju.

Section 377 criminalised "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and was widely criticised as a law that was used by the police to harass the gay community.

Legal non-governmental organisation (NGO) The Lawyers Collective represented the Naz Foundation NGO on the Supreme Court case.

The Government has indicated it would not make a decision on the subject and would leave it to the Supreme Court to make a call.

Several appeals to the section 377 decision are expected to be heard in December, with a total of eight petitions having been made on grounds such as "public morality" and the protection of children.

Read our interview with The Lawyers Collective Anand Grover about the long road to getting section 377 overturned.

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