On 6 September, a five-member Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), insofar as it applied to consenting adults, violated India’s constitutional morality. The landmark judgement not only affected the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ people, but also reversed an earlier ruling that had criminalized the community only five winters ago. It was on 11 December 2013 when two judges of the apex court had decided that India’s LGBTQ+ community was a “minuscule minority” and reinstated the IPC section (which had been repealed by an earlier Delhi high court ruling in 2009), effectively turning LGBTQ+ people into “criminals”. As Justice Indu Malhotra, one of the five judges who read out four concurrent verdicts on 6 September, said, society owes the LGBTQ+ community an apology for the historical wrongs perpetrated against it. Over the last three months, Lounge reached out to individuals across the community to understand … [Read more...] about Life after Section 377
Landmark judgements of supreme court of india 2014
There is a paradoxical situation that troubles us as we move closer to the next parliamentary election. The Right to Information Act, 2009, unequivocally recognises the citizens' right to information by pronouncing in its section 4 that “every citizen shall have the right to information from the authority, and the authority shall, on demand from a citizen, be bound to provide him with the information.” In case of exercising the franchise, people's right to know has been further consolidated in section 12 (3b) of the Representation of People's Order, 1972, which empowers citizens with the right to know about the parliamentary candidates before they choose their representatives. And presently, digital platforms like the websites of newspapers, online news portals and social media sites are considered among the most effective tools to disseminate information about the candidates across the country. But the recently passed Digital Security Act (DSA) has come up with some … [Read more...] about Free polls sans free media?
In these last weeks, we have seen the wheels set in motion to overturn the landmark 1973 judgement Roe vs Wade with the US President, Donald Trump, nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. While this nomination has been hampered by pending sexual assault charges, the fear is very real that it is just a matter of time. Abortion access in the U.S. has become increasingly limited: fewer clinics sometimes just one clinic in states like Mississippi; services available only a few days a week; unnecessary tests including making the girl or the woman see the ultrasound - an attempt to personify the fetus and hence dissuade abortion; parental consent if it involves a minor and a 24-hour waiting period after signing the consent form; and in some cases, even the need to obtain a court order. While attempts to overturn Roe vs Wade will have devastating effects on American women, women all across the world will feel the aftermath. Not only will this affect America's global policy across … [Read more...] about The fight for abortion rights will never end-PART 1
Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | Updated: September 15, 2018 1:58:33 pm Akunth, who identifies as queer, at Hostel IV at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran) “It’s just like any other hostel. Some people are asking us for photographs of the hostel as if we are having a huge unicorn inside. We aren’t,” says Akunth, a first-year student of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and a resident of the city’s first gender-neutral hostel space. Behind him, a poster for the Rainbow Alliance — a global student organisation advocating equal rights and inclusivity for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) and their allies — shares a wall with a picture of Dr BR Ambedkar. There aren’t any unicorns in the ground floor of Hostel IV, which was set aside as a gender neutral hostel space by TISS earlier this year, but rainbows can be found aplenty, … [Read more...] about At TISS, India’s first gender-neutral hostel: ‘all students can come, chill’
When 26-year-old Meera was informed that her unborn child had anencephaly, she was heartbroken. The neurological condition, where a major part of the brain, skull and scalp is missing, occurs during embryonic development and leaves little to no chance of survival. Six months ago, 18 weeks pregnant, Meera walked into a government-run hospital in Mumbai asking for an abortion. However, lacking the right resources and facilities, the hospital turned her away. By the time she approached another government hospital, Meera had crossed the 20-week abortion deadline made mandatory by the Indian law. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, states that a woman cannot have her foetus terminated after crossing a gestation period of 20 weeks. Following this, at 23 weeks pregnant, Meera moved to the Supreme Court (SC), where she was granted a special permission to abort her foetus. Abortion pleas take roughly a month to be sanctioned. Parallelly, a woman's biological clock keeps on … [Read more...] about Taking abortions to court