Topic – Indian polity – issues
3) The Constitution Bench judgment in Navtej Singh Johar and Others v Union of India is a watershed moment in Indian constitutional jurisprudence for it enhances the scope of rights enjoyed under golden Trinity of rights enshrined in part 3. Examine. (250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses the constitutional implications of the historic Section 377 judgment of Supreme Court. What was said in the court judgement along with its implications on the nature of rights enjoyed under the constitution is the focus of the article. Hence this article is important to prepare about the section 377 judgment as well as note down the important observations of the judgment to embellish your GS2 answers.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss the reasons why the supreme court judgement making section 377 ultra vires to the constitution, is a watershed moment in Indian judiciary and how it expand the scope of rights enjoyed under Articles 14, 19 and 21. Thereafter, we need to discuss the impact of such expansion of rights and discuss what more needs to be done to ensure that the judgment is implemented in law and in spirit.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .BIn the case of above question, you have to probe the reasons why this can be considered as a watershed moment in Indian judiciary and how it expands the scope of fundamental rights.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight the SC’s verdict in aforementioned case.
- Give a brief insight into the stand taken by court in case of individual vs collective rights, how the stand of SC itself over article 377 has evolved over time. Highlight that since the Maneka Gandhi verdict in 1980, SC has constantly expanded the scope of rights and its verdict in Sec 377 case is indeed a watershed moment, for it has extended the cloak of constitutional protection to LGBT citizens, it has relevance to all minorities and indeed to all individuals. The judgment articulates a vision of constitutional supremacy that will guide Indian democracy well into the future. It protects LGBT citizens under the right to equality, along with privacy and dignity.
- Highlight how the verdict has enhanced the rights enjoyed under articles 14, 19 and 21. Mention that the judgment puts the individual, at the heart of the constitutional scheme. In the Chief Justice’s words, “Destruction of individual identity would tantamount to crushing of intrinsic dignity that cumulatively encapsulates the values of privacy, choice, and freedom of speech and other expressions.” Highlight that the court has emphatically held that fundamental rights do not hinge on the number of people who claim them. Also, mention that Johar also builds on the Supreme Court’s right to choice jurisprudence. Starting with Common Cause v Union of India, the court held that choice was constitutionally protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- Discuss the impact of the verdict on LGBT community
Conclusion – Give your view on the verdict and briefly highlight what the logical next step should be.