The final (let's hope!) hearings for the argument against section 377 started in the Delhi High Court this Thursday. Justices A.P. Shah and S. Muralidhar are being much, much more receptive to hearing our case than the previous Bench was, listening to Anand Grover's (of Naz India) arguments and not giving as much attention to the opposing lawyers. Which serves them right, as one of them had the audacity to state that HIV doesn't really exist. Vikram D., who has been updating us with first-hand accounts of the case, writes:
"What is also encouraging is the sense that the judges are keeping their focus firmly on the fact that the petition does NOT ask for the law to be scrapped, but instead asks for it to be modified, or 'read down', so that it does not apply to consensual adult. This is important because people keep getting this wrong, sometimes quite wilfully as in the case of Amod Kanth and perhaps the Law Ministry, and then arguing that the law needs to stay because it guards against paedophilia.Mr. Grover finished his arguments at around 5pm on Friday. The case will resume later this week!
Which we were always clear about and that is why at no point do we ask for the law to go, but just for it to be changed so as not to apply to consenting adults. But its true that while one is in full flow arguing against 377 its easy to get carried away and sound as if you want the whole law to go. Anand apparently came close to doing this a few times and everytime the judges brought him back to the 'reading down' part and not asking for wholesale scrapping. The hopeful interpretation of this is that the judges want to make sure that the case that is being made is quite solid and watertight and not confused by arguments of paedophilia or male rape. Keep the focus on 'adult' and 'consensual'."