The Allahabad High Court has ordered the Commandant General of Home Guards, Head Quarters, U.P. Lucknow to take back a person who had been dismissed from service on account of his sexual orientation. The case pertains to the cancellation of appointment of an individual serving as a Home Guard after a video clip featuring him went viral. The District Commandant of Home Guards, Bulandshahar, while cancelling the appointment, referred to the sexual orientation as “indulgence in untoward activity”.

Taking a strong view against the said cancellation, the court said, “…any display of affection amongst the members of the LGBT community towards their partners in the public, so long as it does not amount to indecency or has the potentiality to disturb public order cannot be bogged down by majority perception.”

Further, the High Court cited the Navtej Singh Johar judgement of the Supreme Court that read down Section 377 and noted: “The Apex Court in the said case has held that the sexual orientation of the person is his individual choice and any act of treating it as an offence would be interference in the right of the privacy of the person concerned.”

Quashing the cancellation, the court observed that it found the cancellation order to be vindictive in nature and directed that the petitioner be taken back into service immediately and “shall be entitled to all admissible dues and the honorarium shall be paid regularly as and when the same falls due.”

Sukhdeep Singh