Why Do Politicians Evade Issues & Leave It To Court's Wisdom: Justice D Y Chandrachud

| September 9 , 2018 , 14:19 IST

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud who was a part of the Supreme Court bench which passed the historic verdict decriminalizing homosexuality, on Saturday expressed disappointment over the government’s narrative to handover the power to the judges to decide on sensitive issues and matters.

Justice Chandrachud said, “Why do politicians sometimes hand over power to judges and we see that happening in the Supreme Court everyday. We saw that in 377 where the government told us that we are leaving this to the wisdom of the court and this 'wisdom of the court' was too enticing a principle for me not to respond so I responded in my judgment the other day.”

Quoting from his 180-page concurring opinion, Justice Chandrachud said: “It is well for a judge to remind himself or herself of the fact that flattery is often the graveyard of the gullible.”

Justice Chandrachud was a part of the five judge constitutional bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra along with Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Indu Malhotra that in a landmark judgment on the controversial section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality. The bench struck down the law and brought in a wave of joy and happiness to the LGBT community.

Justice Chandrachud was addressing the 19th Annual Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Oration 2018 organised by the National Law University, Delhi (NLU-D). The Supreme Court judge was speaking on the topic - Rule of Law in Constitutional Democracy

Quoting from his judgment, he said, "LGBT individuals as well as those who do not conform to societal expectations of sexual behaviour defy gender stereotypes.”

What Happened In The Court That Day?

The Supreme Court held that Section 377 insofar as it criminalizes consensual sexual acts between adult human beings, is unconstitutional and liable to be struck down. However, the bench made it clear that sex with animals, which also forms a part of Section 377, will remain a criminal offence.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, “The majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights”

Justice Chandrachud observed that gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgenders have equal rights as other citizens.

Justice Chandrachud said, “This case is much more than just decriminalising a provision It is about an aspiration to realise Constitutional rights and equal existence of LGBT community as other citizens. He noted, “Human sexuality cannot be confined to a binary.”