LATE CITY, 22 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SAME-SEX RELATIONS NO LONGER A CRIME — SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS IDENTITY, DIGNITY, EQUALITY & PRIVACY Love at first right SC: History owes apology From explicit No to a qualified Yes: to LGBTQ community for How political class stalled, blinked delay in justice, centuries MANOJ CG & RAVISH TIWARI of ostracism, suffering NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 6 ANANTHAKRISHNAN G BUSINESS AS USUAL NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 6 FROM TODAY, consensual gay sex between adults in private is no longer a crime in India. Delivering a historic judgment Thursday which underlined the supremacy of “constitutional morality” over “societal morality”, the Supreme Court, in one stroke, scrapped a 158-yearold British-era law that banned same-sex relations between consenting adults in private and punished them with jail terms for life or up to ten years. A five-judge Constitution Bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, in four separate but concurring orders on a clutch of petitions, decriminalised a part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, saying it violated the identity of an BY UNNY TODAY COULD have happened five years ago. In the winter of 2013, months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Supreme Court had reversed the landmark 2009 Delhi High Court order that decriminalised same sex between consenting adults in terms similar to Thursday’s verdict. The highest court had lobbed the ball — or passed the buck depending on which side was speaking — to the political class asking it to legislate a suitable provision for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community’s demand for decriminalisation of consensual same-sex between adults. But the political class stepped back. Then Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi stepped out to express hope that “Parliament will address the issue”, but her party and government dithered. Then BJP president Rajnath Singh stood in solidarity with the Supreme Court judgment saying “how can anyone justify unnatural acts?” Cut to today. The Congress CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 On a street far away, looking at a police car in the eye: ‘Today, I am no criminal’ individual, the right to equality and the right to privacy — the provision will, however, continue to apply to cases of bestiality, carnal intercourse with minors and in cases of no consent. Triggering celebrations among members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PREMANKUR BISWAS & DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, RAIPUR, SEPTEMBER 6 AT 6:30 PM, on Raipur’s Marine drive, the LGBT community collected to celebrate the apex court’s verdict. A group of not more than 20, waving the rainbow flag, cut a cake, and shouted the words “freedom” and “Inquilab Zindabad.” As they hugged, and a same-sex couple kissed, some pedestrians stopped and stared. But on Thursday, it didn’t matter. About 200 m away was a police patrol car that routinely patrols the neighbourhood each day. A member of the celebration pointed to it and said: “Today I am free, because that car, that sign of the Chhattisgarh Police does not scare me. Today I can stare at it proudly, and not walk past with my eyes lowered. Today, I am not a criminal.” That sentiment was echoed earlier in the day when the verdict came, when a group of 10 people sat in front of the TV at a government Social Welfare Department hostel, watching CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SUPREME VERDICT THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE PEOPLE READING THE ORDERS EXPLAINED, WHAT NEXT A SOARING MOMENT: VICTORY FOR INDIVIDUAL, MINORITY RIGHTS, PAGE 10 THOSE WHO SCRIPTED HISTORY: PETITIONERS & THEIR COUNSEL, PAGE 12 HOW ALL JUDGES AGREED BUT EACH HAD A KEY ARGUMENT, PAGE 13 COURT’S NEW MANTRA: CONSTITUTIONAL MORALITY, PAGE 14 2+2 TALKS KCR dissolves House, EC India-US sign key defence looks at polls with 4 others deal, talk visa and terror SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 6 WORLD, P16 Two Russians named in Skripal poisoning: UK STRENGTHENING STRATEGIC cooperation, India and the US Thursday signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) which paves the way for transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India that will facilitate “interoperability” between their forces — and potentially with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secured data links. The pact was inked after the first 2+2 dialogue between the two countries, where External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met visiting CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 SREENIVAS JANYALA & RITIKA CHOPRA HYDERABAD, NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 6 CONFIDENT OF returning to power and to avoid a possible clubbing of Assembly polls with Lok Sabha elections, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao Thursday chose to dissolve the Assembly and seek a fresh mandate. The decision brings the curtains down on the first elected government in Telangana where the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), of which Rao is the founder president, has 82 members in the 120-strong Assembly. Rao handed over a resolution to dissolve the Assembly to Governor E S L Narasimhan, who accepted the decision and asked Rao to continue as caretaker CM. The Election Commission, in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A MOMENT IN HISTORY, 12:42 PM, OUTSIDE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA One of the petitioners in the case, Keshav Suri (right), and his partner Cyril Feuillebois celebrate the Supreme Court verdict reading down the 158-year-old Section 377 that held same-sex relations unnatural and, therefore, criminal. Neeraj Priyadarshi
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