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

 


OHCHR disappointed with Indian Supreme Court ruling

Pillay dismayed at re-imposition of criminal sanctions for same-sex relationships in India

GENEVA (12 December 2013) – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday expressed her disappointment at the re-criminalization of consensual same-sex relationships in India following a judgment by the Indian Supreme Court in the case of Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi.

“Criminalising private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified. Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in this case represents a significant step backwards for India and a blow for human rights,” Pillay said.

The Supreme Court had been asked to examine the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which provides for the punishment of those found guilty of “unnatural offences”. The law, originally introduced by the British colonial administration over 150 years ago, was used to criminalise same-sex relationships.

In 2009, the Delhi High Court had struck down Section 377 in so far as it applied to sexual conduct between consenting adults in private, on the basis that criminalising such conduct is incompatible with the fundamental principles of equality, dignity and non-discrimination enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The matter was referred to the Supreme Court on appeal.

In its decision announced yesterday, the Supreme Court declared Section 377 to be constitutionally valid, thereby overturning the 2009 High Court decision and re-instating Section 377, thus re-criminalising consensual, private same-sex sexual conduct.

“The Supreme Court of India has a long and proud history of defending and expanding protection of human rights. This decision is a regrettable departure from that tradition,” Pillay said.

The High Commissioner expressed hope that the Court might exercise its review procedure, in effect agreeing to rehear the case before a larger panel of judges. Such a review would provide an opportunity for judges to reconsider whether the Supreme Court’s initial decision took sufficient account of all relevant arguments.

In the broader context, the High Commissioner encouraged the Indian Parliament to take definitive action to decriminalise same-sex sexual conduct. She stressed the need to ensure effective protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals from violence and discrimination.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Julie Webb-Pullman: Palestinian National Unity Government

A national unity government. Elections. A new-look PLO. Community reconciliation. Big hopes, even bigger expectations as representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas came to an agreement in Gaza today to form a national unity government and hold elections. More>>

ALSO:

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