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AP Shah on s377: Parliament or judges must take up the gauntlet to fix wrong SC decision

Former Delhi high court Chief Justice and chairperson of the Law Commission AP Shah criticised the Supreme Court for overturning Delhi high court judgment on decriminalising homosexuality and commented that the Supreme Court bench had “ignored the counter-majoritarian role of the judiciary” while speaking at the Tarkunde Memorial Lecture at the India International Centre, reported The Indian Express.

He expressed his concern over the Supreme Court’s decision which ignored a violation of fundamental rights and chose to stick with outdated laws. He was quoted as saying:

The Supreme Court neither engaged with the change in English law nor with changing social mores globally. Instead, the court’s views suggest that the legitimacy of a law is unquestionable, regardless of its origins in an imposed foreign morality or contrary evidence, scientific or otherwise. In fact, the high court’s extensive consideration of international developments were brushed aside by the Supreme Court.

Observing that either the judiciary or the legislature have the power to repeal Section 377 of Indian Penal Code that criminalises intercourse against the course of nature, he added: “It cannot be a never-ending game of toss and catch between the legislature and the judiciary. Someone must take up the gauntlet. Both the legislature and the judiciary need to act independently, but act now they must.”

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