News: Supreme Court collegium has recently recommended the name of Saurabh Kirpal as judge of Delhi High Court. If the government does not reject the name, then he will become India’s first openly gay judge.
What were the challenges in his appointment?
1) The initial reluctance of the collegium to recommend his name. 2) Opaque nature of collegium’s decision making process. 3) Government’s objection that the Judge’s partner is a foreign national and could lead to a conflict of interest and security risk.
What is the stand of the Supreme Court?
In the Navtej Johar versus Union of India case, Supreme Court decriminalized consensual same-sex relationships and stated that it is a matter of personal choice, “an expression of their autonomy and self-determination”.
What should be the way forward?
The Collegium has taken a bold step by recommending the name of Mr. Kirpal. This will promote the notion of equality of opportunity and nondiscrimination and help de-stigmatize homosexual minorities.
Source: This post is based on the article “SC collegium’s endorsement of Saurabh Kirpal as Delhi HC judge is very welcome. Govt must not stand in the way” published in the Indian Express on 17th November 2021.