The judges said: “Any discrimination on the basis of sexuality amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.” The law had become a weapon for harassment for the LGBT community, said chief justice Dipak Misra as he quashed the Section 377, a law introduced by the British in 1861.
The Delhi High Court in 2009 described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution and removed the ban. However, in December 2013, a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, on appeals filed by private parties, set aside the High Court’s judgment. It upheld the criminalisation of gay sex and essentially denying the LGBTQ community their rights.
In July this year, in a constitution led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, re-opened the entire issue, saying a section of people could not live in fear of the law.
Meanwhile, five celebrities have extremely instrumental in this judgement too., In 2016, they petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider its own ruling. The celebrities were:
Navtej Singh Johar, 59, a renowned classical dancer and winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Sunil Mehra, 63, a journalist and the former editor of the Indian edition of Maxim magazine.
Ritu Dalmia, 45, a celebrity chef and owner of the niche restaurant chain Diva.
Aman Nath, 61, the owner of the Neemrana chain of hotels.
And Ayesha Kapur, 44, a businesswoman associated with the food and beverages industry.