The Case of Suresh Koushal vs Naz Foundation (2013)

July 11, 2024

The Indian Supreme Court is widely recognized for its exceptional performance in defending the rights of both foreign nationals and citizens. The Supreme Court has periodically made significant revisions to a number of the Constitution’s clauses in order to guarantee justice for everybody.

Nonetheless, the ruling in the case of Suresh Kumar Koushal and Others v Naz Foundation was regrettable. A 150-year-old law that prohibited “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” was at issue in this case. In the aforementioned case, it was determined that homosexuality is illegal in India and that section 377 of ipc is constitutionally valid. In doing so, it overturned the Delhi High Court’s well-founded ruling in Naz Foundation v. NCT.

suresh kumar koushal vs naz foundation Case Facts

  • The issue involves the validity of section 377 of the indian penal code.
  • The voluntary having of sexual relations “against the order of nature” with any man, woman, or animal is now illegal under section 377 of ipc and is punishable by jail time or a fine.
  • The Naz Foundation filed a writ suit in the Delhi High Court in 2001, requesting a declaration that sections 14, 15, 19(1)(a) (d), and 21 of the Indian Constitution were violated by section 377, which prohibited private sexual acts between consenting adults.
  • The Naz Foundation maintained that section 377 of the Indian penal code was unconstitutional because there was no compelling governmental interest to support the restriction of fundamental rights, and that private, consensual relationships were protected under article 21 of the constitution.
  • Additionally, the Naz Foundation claimed that Section 377 of ipc was against Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The 2004 High Court dismissed the writ petition on the grounds that it contained only academic problems that the court was not authorized to review.
  • The Delhi High Court ruled in 2009 that the Indian Penal Code’s Section 377 violated several basic rights, such as Articles 14, 15, and 21. In Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation, the Supreme Court of India heard an appeal against the aforementioned verdict and ruled that the Delhi High Court erred in interpreting the Section to permit consenting gay relations between two adults of the same sex.

suresh kumar koushal vs naz foundation Issues

The Court was presented with a number of key problems, the most important of which was the violation of fundamental rights as guaranteed by Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The author will address two of the key topics in this work.

  • Is Section 377 constitutionally valid and, if so, does it violate any of the provisions of Part III of the Indian Constitution?
  • Does Section 377 violate Article 21 (the right to life and personal liberty) of the Indian Constitution insofar as it criminalizes the consenting sexual activity of two adults of the same sex in private?

suresh kumar koushal vs naz foundation Judgment

  • The Supreme Court’s two-judge panel granted the appeal and reversed the Delhi High Court’s ruling in the Naz Foundation case.
  • In the end, the Supreme Court rejected the petition submitted by the respondent, concluding that section 377 of the IPC does not violate the Indian Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that carnal intercourse, which is defined as unnatural lust, should be penalized and that section 377 does not violate articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution.
  • The Delhi High Court incorrectly relied on international precedents in its desperation to defend the rights of LGBT community peoples, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s declaration that a negligible portion of the nation’s population identifies as LGBT.
  • According to Justice Sanghvi, as section 377 of the Indian penal code was passed before the Constitution, parliament would have long since repealed it if there had been any breach of the rights outlined in part 3 of the Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that section 377 of ipc does not have any constitutional flaws, and it is up to the appropriate legislature to determine whether it would be desirable and legal to remove the section from the statute book or amend it to permit sensual sexual relations between two adults of the same sex.

Therefore, since it infringes on their fundamental rights, consenting sexual acts between two individuals of the same sex should not be governed by legislation, and it is not the state’s place to restrict someone’s choice of sexual partner. Gay people are subjected to brutality through the abuse of Section 377. In contrast to constitutional morality, which is derived from constitutional values, popular morality is based on changing ideas of what is right and wrong. As of right now, a sizable portion of the elite population supports LGBT rights, which indicates that the State is following its own morality rather than that of the public. If any morality can stand up to the test of compelling state interest, it ought to constitute constitutional morality.

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