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Revealed! Two women lawyers who overturned Article 377 are a couple

Revealed! Two women lawyers who overturned Article 377 are a couple
Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju (Photo| Twitter)

Until September 6, 2018, a huge section of the Indian population was either invisible or considered 'criminals' according to a colonial-era law - Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which made "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" a punishable offence.

By the above-mentioned definition, any sexual intercourse between people belonging to same-sex or gender was considered a criminal offence, punishable, even with life imprisonment.

But almost a year ago, a five-judge panel of the Supreme Court struck down the law, making it possible for people like Dutee Chand - national sports champion, to come out and talk about their sexual orientation without the fear of being 'punished' for it.

That five-judge panel included two women - Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy. They were at the forefront of the fight even in 2013, when the SC upheld the criminalization of the law which was decriminalised in 2009 by Delhi High Court.

Arundhati is the niece of former SC judge Markandey Katju and Menaka is the daughter of well known political thinker Mohan Guruswamy

For them, as queer professionals, the landmark judgement on September 6, 2018, which said "criminalizing carnal intercourse is irrational and indefensible," was not just a professional victory but also a personal one.

Talking about that in a recent interview with CNN, Menaka said, "It is not nice to be a 'criminal' who has to go back to court as a lawyer to argue other cases." They came out as a couple in that interview to the international media, giving hope and strength to millions of queer people in India.


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