The Leaflet

| @theleaflet_in | November 15,2018

In response to an RTI application filed by Delhi-based advocate Paras Nath Singh (see Images 1 & 2) on September 22, 2018, with the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), the Ministry of Home Affairs, it has now come to light that the Union Government has not yet implemented the directions issued by the Supreme Court of India that required the Central Government to give wide-scale publicity to the Supreme Court judgment in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India.

The apex court had directed the Union Government to widely publicise the Section 377 verdict through public media — which includes television, radio, print and online media — at regular intervals, and initiate programmes to reduce and finally eliminate the stigma associated with LGBTQI persons. Court had also required that all government officials, including and in particular law enforcement officials, and other officers of the Union of India and the States, be given periodic sensitisation and awareness training on the discrimination faced by LGBTQI peoples and how it must be combatted in the light of the observations contained in this judgment.

Image 1: Page 1 of RTI application filed by Paras Nath Singh September 22, 2018

Image 2: Page 2 of RTI application filed by Paras Nath Singh September 22, 2018

A five-judge Constitution bench — comprising then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton F Nariman, A M Khanwilker, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra — in a landmark judgment delivered on September 6, 2018 had decriminalised sex amongst consenting adults in private, thereby reading down Section 377, IPC insofar as it criminalised “sex against the order of nature”, disproportionately impacting members of the LGBTQI community. The above-mentioned directions in the 377 judgment were penned down by Justice Rohinton F Nariman, who in his separate but concurring judgment, had called upon the Central Government to ensure implementation of the landmark verdict by the apex court in letter and spirit.

The judgment held that Section 377 of the IPC, to the extent it criminalised sexual acts between consenting adults in private, was in violation of Articles 14 and 15 (equality and discrimination); Article 19 (Fundamental Freedoms) and Article 21 (privacy and dignity).


Image 3: Reply from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.


CPIO’s reply (Image 3) further reveals that Union Home Ministry received the copy of the said judgment on September 18, 2018. However, the Ministry has not taken any call even after two months of the receiving of the judgment and the matter is still being examined by the Central Government. MHA has also informed that the Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court of India on September 11, 2018 circulated the said judgment to the Chief Secretaries of all the States for necessary compliance.

Centre had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court leaving it on the wisdom of the court to decide the validity of Section 377 of the IPC —thus the Centre neither contested the case, nor favoured it.

One of the queries in the RTI application by Singh was the name and designation of the competent authority who approved the affidavit and connected file noting(s) generated in processing the same. The Union Home Ministry, however, chose not to reply on this point.

[Disclaimer: Paras Nath Singh assists Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, the co-founder of The Leaflet.]

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Also Read

Collegium - Prey to Judges

January 18,2019

The Right to Truth

January 11,2019

Trapped in a rat-hole

January 11,2019

Free Speech in India 2018

December 31,2018

Grave systemic injustice

December 31,2018

Change of tack for Maoists

December 11,2018

Understanding Criminal Law

December 7,2018

#MeToo: A tracker

November 29,2018

Pollution: Law isn't enough

November 27,2018

Raw deal for workers

November 27,2018

After #MeToo, beyond POSH

November 13,2018

Who was Justice Holmes?

October 23,2018

In pursuit of justice

October 9,2018

Humanity deported

October 6,2018

A liberal court

October 3,2018

Ambedkar's feminism

September 18,2018

Azadi for LGBTQI communities

September 8,2018

Mother like no other

September 7,2018

Why Article 35A matters

August 15,2018

Challenges beyond 377

August 13,2018

A positive beginning

August 10,2018

WSS condemn transphobia

August 6,2018

Blame it on Collegium

August 5,2018

Scroll Up