Right to Privacy: SC Indicates it May Re-look Homosexuality Judgment

The debate surrounding the right to privacy took an interesting turn on Wednesday with the Supreme Court indicating that its judgment against homosexuality may get reopened if privacy is assigned the status of a fundamental right.

A nine-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, observed that sexual orientation was a matter of privacy and if the court were to hold privacy as a fundamental right, then the 2013 judgment against homosexuality would be susceptible to a fresh legal challenge.

“Marriage, procreation are facets of privacy… sexual orientation is also about privacy. If we say there is a fundamental right to privacy, our judgment in Naz Foundation becomes vulnerable,” observed the judges.

If the nine-judge bench elevates the status of the right to privacy, the ruling will come handy for Naz Foundation, which has asserted that private acts of consensual sex between consenting adults in private could not be criminalized by sanction of law.

Further, an authoritative ruling by the nine-judge bench will bind the smaller benches and therefore, the bench hearing the curative petition in Naz Foundation case would have to adhere to the principles evolved by the larger bench.


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