Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, who argued against the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in the Supreme Court, said on Thursday that as a couple, the court’s verdict in their favour last year was not just a professional benchmark but also a personal win. The two advocates had represented the petitioners seeking to decriminalise homosexual activity between consenting adults in India, Scroll reported.
In an interview with CNN, Guruswamy said: “It is not nice to be a ‘criminal’ who has to go back to court as a lawyer to argue other cases.”
Guruswamy and Katju had also argued the case in 2013 when the Supreme Court upheld Section 377 after it was decriminalised in 2009 by Delhi High Court. However, on September 6 2018, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court reversed its 2013 order and decriminalised homosexual activity between consenting adults. Section 377 provided for jail up to 10 years for the offence, reported by Scroll.
The couple said they wished that the verdict in India will act as a beacon for other countries that still have anti-gay laws. “Malaysians and Sri Lankans are now looking at how they can use this judgment to overturn anti-gay laws in their countries,” said Katju.
Soon after the CNN interview was posted on Twitter, Katju shared a photo of her with Guruswamy in court.