In what’s being described as a historic first for same-sex relations since the legalisation of homosexuality in India, the case of a woman who charged her husband and his lover with homosexuality in 2009 has been dismissed.
The 2009 complaint which was laid by the woman against her husband and the man she claimed he was having an affair, had been going on for some time with homosexuality being illegal in India under section 377 of the penal code at the time.
However, 10 years after the original complaint, the Bombay High Court finally discharged the men, with no charges, citing India’s historic Supreme Court ruling in September 2018 that ended the nation’s ban on consensual adult homosexuality as the catalyst.
Reports from The Times of India say that Justice Bhatkar found that while the wife could have a legitimate complaint against her husband for having an affair, the homosexuality charges could not be upheld against the men.
“In the present case, both had an extra-marital consensual relationship,” said Justice Bhatkar.
“Though it may be a ground for divorce for cruelty to the (wife), it does not constitute an offense under section 377 because both are adults and had sexual relations by consent.”
Bhatkar added that, “the complainant is an aggrieved person, but she cannot be called a victim under section 377.”