World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


India: Top court ruling re-criminalizes homosexual

Press releases

11 December 2013

India: Dismaying top court ruling re-criminalizes homosexuality

A ruling by India’s Supreme Court making consensual same-sex conduct between adults a criminal offence marks a black day for freedom in India, Amnesty International India said today.

“This decision is a body blow to people’s rights to equality, privacy and dignity,” said G Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International India. “It is hard not to feel let down by this judgement, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights.”

The Supreme Court overturned a historic ruling by the Delhi High Court in 2009 which had decriminalized consensual same-sex activity between adults. The Supreme Court said that Section 377 - which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”- was constitutionally valid, and said that the Government could take legislative steps to repeal the law.

The Delhi High Court had ruled in 2009 that the outlawing of consensual adult same-sex relations was discriminatory and violated the rights to equality, privacy and dignity set forth in the Indian Constitution.

The case was initially brought by the Naz Foundation, an Indian sexual rights organization. Following the Delhi High Court ruling in 2009, a group of private bodies, including faith-based and religious groups, appealed the decision in the Supreme Court.

India’s central government did not appeal the ruling. The Attorney-General told the Supreme Court in March 2012: “ The government of India does not find any error in the judgment of the High Court and accepts the correctness of the same.”

Refuting claims that homosexuality was ‘not Indian’, the Attorney General said, “ The introduction of Section 377 was not a reflection of the existing Indian values and traditions; rather it was imposed upon the Indian society by the colonisers due to their moral values.”

In a review of India’s human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, the Government of India quoted the Delhi High Court’s decision to signify its progress on human rights issues.

“The government of India has said that it is in favour of decriminalizing homosexuality. Now is the time to act on its word. Parliament must immediately pass legislation to restore the rights and freedoms that have been denied today”, said G Ananthapadmanabhan.

Additional Information:

The Delhi High Court in 2009 had said the criminalization of homosexuality forced “a sizeable section of society… to live their lives in the shadow of harassment, exploitation, humiliation, cruel and degrading treatment at the hands of the law enforcement machinery”.

The UN Human Rights Committee – the expert body that oversees the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights – has said that laws used to criminalize private, adult, consensual same-sex relations violate rights to privacy and non-discrimination.

Amnesty International India also urges the Indian Parliament to pass specific laws to criminalize sexual assault of men and transgender individuals.

AI Index: PRE01/648/2013

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news