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Allahabad High Court reinstated a home guard from Bulandshahr city of Uttar Pradesh to his government job who was fired for being gay in June 2019. The court observed that treating sexual orientation as an offence is an interference with the person’s right to privacy.

The petitioner, Pramod Kumar Sharma was terminated from the job by the district commandant of Home Guards in Bulandshahr on June 11, 2019.

The order of cancellation of Sharma’s appointment came after few people filmed Sharma with his partner and uploaded the video on social media. Referring to Sharma’s sexual orientation as “indulgence in untoward activity”, the commandant issued the dismissal order.

Pramod Kumar Sharma, then, moved Allahabad High Court challenging the commandant’s order.

The single-judge bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal on February 2 observed that sexual orientation of the individual is his personal choice and any act of treating it as offence is an interference in the right of privacy of the person. The court stated that it is in violation of the Supreme Court landmark judgment of 2018 that decriminalised homosexuality and upheld the rights of the LGBT community.

The High Court bench held that public display of affection from a member of the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community towards their partner as long as it is not indecent can not be dictated by the majority perception

Justice Agarwal termed the dismissal order “vindictive in nature” and directed to reinstate Sharma at his position with immediate effect and pay all his pending dues.

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