My orientation is different and that is no crime: Navtej Singh Johar4 min read 29 Jun 2016, 03:46 PM IST
Petitioner against IPC section 377 on why the law has no place in modern India
Navtej Singh Johar, a Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, is a renowned dancer and yoga instructor. On Wednesday, another aspect of his life came to light—the 57-year-old moved the Supreme Court along with four other persons, including his partner of 25 years, to challenge Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Johar, who identifies as gay and his co-petitioners who belong to the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community argued in the petition that the section violates their right to life and personal liberty, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian constitution. Journalist Sunil Mehra (Johar’s partner), well-known chef and hotelier Ritu Dalmia, Neemrana chain of hotels co-founder Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur came forward as aggrieved parties—people actually affected by the colonial-era law which criminalizes consensual same sex intercourse between adults. On Wednesday their petition was referred to the Chief Justice of India T.S Thakur, who will decide whether to tag this petition with an already existing set of curatives that challenge the constitutional validity of Section 377.