Bombay High Court Justice Vijaya K Tahilramani made very interesting comments while addressing a group of students of KC Law College. She said there are a lot of laws in the 1860 Penal Code which are no longer applicable to today’s society. She agreed the sexual relations in society has changed and that there is a rising demand amongst consenting homosexual adults to give them the freedom to chose their sexuality and scrap the 100 year old law under section 377.
Sadly as long as the law is there in the statute there is not much that Courts can do while addressing sexuality rights issues. She said,
“There is a raging controversy over Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), with many people saying that adults have a right to follow their sexual preference,” Tahilramani said of the 1860 law that criminalises homosexuality with a punishment of up to ten years.
“Our difficulty is that we have to follow the statute. Section 377 has not been deleted by the legislature.” As long as the provision was listed in the IPC, the judiciary had “no choice” but to consider all ‘unnatural intercourse’ as a criminal offence. [Source Times of India]
It seems she is giving a hint to the legislature to abolish the archaic law. But is anybody listening?
This is the first time I heard a Justice being public about his/her personal opinion on this and I think Justice Tahilramani for her comments. I don’t think it is a surprise that such progressive comments came from a lady justice.