Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia, JJ., addressed the issue of harassment to citizens on their sexual orientation and highlighted the significance of ‘Constitutional Morality’.
The present petition highlighted the stark reality of the society where the citizens were facing discrimination at the hands of the society only on account of their sexual orientation despite it being well settled that sexual orientation is innate to the human being.
In the instant petition, petitioners were represented Dhirendra Kumar Srivastava and Mohd. Naushad.
The allegations in the present petition stated that petitioner 1, as well as petitioner 2, claimed to be females having attained the age of majority and the petitioner 1 gainfully employed as Financial Adviser whereas petitioner 2 employed in a private company.
Further, the petitioners claimed that they were living in a live-in-relationship for a couple of years and voluntarily living with each other on account of their sexual orientation. The said relationship, somehow, faced resistance at the hands of family members as well as the immediate society, as a result whereof, the petitioners apprehend harassment and threat to their life and enjoyment of their relationship.
Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India | Plight of LGBT community
Petitioners counsel submitted that despite legitimacy being accorded to the above-stated relations by Supreme Court in its decision of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1. In the said decision plight of the LGBT community was considered in the context of the constitutional principles.
Supreme Court had categorically held that “Constitutional morality requires that all the citizens need to have a closer look at, understand and imbibe the broad values of the Constitution, which are based on liberty, equality and fraternity. Constitutional morality is thus the guiding spirit to achieve the transformation which, above all, the Constitution seeks to achieve. This acknowledgement carried a necessary implication: the process through which a society matures and imbibes constitutional morality is gradual, perhaps interminably so. Hence, constitutional courts are entrusted with the duty to act as external facilitators and to be a vigilant safeguard against excesses of state power and democratic concentration of power.”
This Court being a constitutional Court is duty-bound to monitor and observe the Constitutional morality as well as the rights of the citizens which are under threat only on account of the sexual orientation, as such considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
Hence in view of the present set of circumstances and, Court directed the Superintendent of Police to extend suitable protection to the petitioners in the event they approach them for necessary protection no harassment should be caused to them. [Sultana Mirza v. State of U.P., Writ C No. 17394 of 2020, decided on 02-11-2020]