This study undertaken by the CHLET aimed to determine and analyze the impact of the landmark judgment of 2 July 2009 by the Delhi High Court on the lives of sexual minorities in Delhi. The Court’s judgment was in response to a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalized consensual sexual activities between homosexual adults conducted in private. The judgment held that Section 377 infringed upon fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution of India, and declared the section to be unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalized private consensual sexual activity between adults.
The research conducted for this study consisted primarily of personal interviews with members of the LGBT community. Researchers interacted with individuals belonging to different sexual minorities who described their lives before and after 2 July 2009. The findings of the interviews were compiled and correlated along with similar studies conducted in other parts of the world to provide a global picture, showing that decriminalization consistently leads to a rise in the level of social acceptance, and more importantly, self-acceptance of sexual minorities. This impact assessment is the first of its kind in India and provides valuable first-hand accounts of LGBT life pre- and post-decriminalization. The findings of this report clearly show that the Delhi High Court judgment has positively impacted the LGBT community and has improved the quality of life of sexual minorities. The report was published in March 2012.