Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union of India, AIR 2018 SC 4321 - Synopsis
Team SoOLEGAL 16 Aug 2021

The central issue of this case is the constitutional validity of section 377 of the Indian Penal code, 1860 (IPC) which was titled as “unnatural offences” that is, any consensual carnal intercourse which is against the order of nature with any human or animal.

These issues originated in 2009 when Delhi high court in Naz foundation v. Government of NCT of Delhi, WP(C) No.7455/2001 held section 377 OF IPC as unconstitutional.

In the case, Suresh kumar koushal vs Naz foundation Civil Appeal No.10972 of 2013, the Supreme Court overturned Delhi high court’s decision and granted approval to section 377 of IPC.

Again, a writ petition was filed in 2016 to challenge the constitutional validity of section 377 of IPC, 1860 by dancer Navtej Singh Johar along with five more.

In this petition he asked for the recognition of the right to sexuality, right to sexual autonomy and right to choose  a sexual partner.

It was also mentioned that section 377 of IPC is violating some of the fundamental rights of homosexuals such as:

·         Article 14 of Indian Constitution - right to equality

·         Article 15 of Indian Constitution - protection from discrimination

·         Article 19 of Indian Constitution - freedom. Of expression.

·         Article 21 of Indian Constitution - protection of life and personal liberty.

It was unanimously held by the bench of five judges that section 377 of IPC applied to consensual sexual conduct between adults in private was unconstitutional and over-ruled the judgement of 2013 of Suresh koushal vs Naz foundation.

It was also seen that gender Identity is Intrinsic to one’s personality and denying it would be violative of one’s dignity and that denying the LGBT community it’s right to privacy on the ground that they form a minority of population would be violative of their fundamental rights. 


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