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section 377

27 January 2014

Former Himachal Pradesh high court chief justice, Delhi high court justice and law commission member Leila Seth, who is also mother to a son who is homosexual, writes condemning the Supreme Court judgement re-criminalising homosexual intercourse in the Times of India.

The original Delhi high court judgment striking down section 377 was a “model of learning, humanity and application of Indian Constitutional principles . It was well crafted, and its reasoning clearly set out”, writes Seth. But when the Supreme Court overturned the lower court in December 2012, she was “extremely upset” because of her eldest son, and added:

A host of academics and lawyers have critiqued the judgment in great detail, including the non-addressal of the Article 15 argument, and have found it wanting in many respects. I do not intend to repeat those criticisms. However, I should point out that both learning and science get rather short shrift. Instead of welcoming cogent arguments from jurisprudence outside India, which is accepted practice in cases of fundamental rights, the judgment specifically dismisses them as being irrelevant. Further, rather than following medical, biological and psychological evidence , which show that homosexuality is a completely natural condition, part of a range not only of human sexuality but of the sexuality of almost every animal species we know, the judgment continues to talk in terms of 'unnatural' acts, even as it says that it would be difficult to list them.

But what has pained me and is more harmful is the spirit of the judgment. The interpretation of law is untempered by any sympathy for the suffering of others.

Read the full column at the TOI.

20 January 2014

KrishnaswamySudhir Krishnaswamy and Shishir Bail argue that a presidential reference against the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Delhi high court’s judgement in Naz, is strategically superior as it provides the court with the institutional process and scope for enquiry that is necessary to address the critical constitutional questions that have arisen through the Supreme Court’s judgement that overruled the lower court.

06 January 2014

Bombay HC new judges
The Bombay HC got five new additional judges today in lawyers Vinay Manohar Deshpande, Ajey Gadkari, Nitin Sambre, Girish Kulkarni and B S Colabawalla [PTI]

NGT not HC-enough for suo motu
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has no power to take cognisance of cases on its own, said the Madras HC, restraining the NGT’s southern bench from suo motu cases [TOI]

Costly NLUD fees are fine, says HC 
Dismissing a student’s plea against NLU Delhi’s fee structure and compulsory residential university status which is otherwise not mandatory under BCI rules, the Delhi HC said comparing the university with any old engineering college will be like comparing apples with oranges [PTI]

The SC has given the go ahead for initiating trial court proceedings against former Punjab & Haryana HC judge Nirmal Yadav for the cash-at-judge’s-door scam [Indian Express]

Chamber allotment struggles
The Rohini District Court Lawyers Allotment Committee allegedly arbitrarily denied allotment of a chamber to a disabled advocate despite him not only fitting all eligibility criteria but there also being a quota for the physically challenged in the court. The Committee has now assured the Delhi HC to give the advocate a fresh hearing [PTI]

Irresponsible executive criticism of #377
Chief justice of India P Sathasivam decried as irresponsible the statements of four union minister’s criticising the apex court’s judgment re-criminalising gay sex. “Except making our displeasure we can’t do anything. Though the statements are not appreciable we are not inclined to entertain the petition," he added while dismissing a social activist’s petition seeking disqualification for the four ministers on the ground that through their statements they “violated the secrecy of oath” [NDTV]

CBI to probe false allegations against judge
The CBI may soon probe the case of lobbyist TG Nandakumar who sent a letter to the Supreme Court Chief Justice and others falsely claiming that Madras HC judge C.K. Abdul Rahim had SIMI connections and close links with crime syndicate leader Dawood Ibrahim [Deccan Chronicle]

UK lawyers go on strike over legal aid cuts
In first-ever boycott of work, barristers (and solicitors) of England and Wales didn’t turn up to court for a half-day to protest a 30 per cent slash down in legal aid fees. “The legal aid dispute has become more polarised as the MoJ attempts to portray criminal lawyers as overpaid fat cats” -criminal lawyers disagree, reported The Guardian

Back to court-kindergarten
The Madras HC has launched a course titled “Redefining Legal Practices” for advocates with at least a 10 year PQE to teach them court craft, drafting and arguments [TOI]

Krishna Iyer J on JAC
Former Justice Krishna Iyer argues that the judicial appointments commission (JAC) must be totally independent and immune to legal proceedings in The Hindu

Kerala bar suspends colleague over sexism post
Before being suspended by the Calicut Bar Association, she wrote on her Facebook wall that male colleagues “address women as ‘sugar candy’ ‘dear’ and follow them with comments such as ‘you are so beautiful’ and the like. All of them follow the ‘Prem Nazir’ style of old Malayalam films. They dont seem to be familiar with newer films. It’s the same old way of making women either lovers or sisters; destroying them either by ‘caring’ for them or ‘keeping’ them. I pity all those who follow such a style.” [Kafila / India Today]

17 December 2013

Advocate-on-record Amit Gupta puts forward the unfashionable opinion that, although Justice GS Singhvi’s judgment in the section 377 gay sex case was not perfect and unpopular, he did in fact get the law right.

16 December 2013

Section #377 attracts international condemnation
The Supreme Court’s upholding of section 377 banning homosexual intercourse, has continued attracting global attention with thousands of newspaper articles globally [Google News], and protests by gay activists around the globe opposing the judgment [Gay Star News]

Anand Grover: #377 review petition and lobbying ongoing
Naz lawyer and Lawyers Collective co-founder Anand Grover confirms that Naz will be filing for a review petition and lobbying with parliament to change the law [DNA]

…as BJP speaks against ‘unnatural’ gay sex, Cong goes for youth
As most commentators in media and academia have criticised the Supreme Court’s decision on section 377, the BJP has come out in support of the verdict, with party president Rajnath Singh saying his party would support a ban “as we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act” [NDTV] Congress might use the contrast to the BJP’s stance in the s. 377 issue to lure the youth vote away from Narendra Modi, argues the Deccan Chronicle

NCRB to begin publishing #377 ‘crime’ data
Meanwhile, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will collect and publish more detailed data on section 377 offences recorded by the police every year [PTI]

12 December 2013

Surabhi ShuklaJindal Global Law School (JGLS) senior research associate Surabhi Shukla argues that the Supreme Court made a serious error in its judgment, which would pave the way for a review petition of the judgment.

11 December 2013

377Legally India has culled seven main reasons from the 98-page judgment, explaining why the Supreme Court decided that a lower court was wrong to repeal the law effectively banning homosexual intercourse.

11 December 2013

s34ujh4aThe Supreme Court has criminalised homosexual intercourse between consenting adults today, reversing the Delhi high court’s 2009 decision to overturn section 377.

25 November 2009

rainbowflagThe 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.

17 August 2009

rainbowflag_thHe was the driving force behind the recent historic judgement that effectively decriminalised homosexuality by 'reading down' section 377 last month. But Anand Grover's battle has been far older than just that case, starting 20 years ago with a series of painful setbacks, death and a growing obsession.

02 July 2009

rainbowflag_thThe Lawyers Collective has emerged victorious in its bid to decriminalise homosexuality by overturning the so-called Section 377 law in the Delhi High Court this morning.