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The Allahabad High Court reinstated a man to his government job in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr after his appointment was cancelled on the basis of a video that revealed his sexual orientation, reported Live Law.
The court, in its verdict, said that a person's sexual orientation was his/her individual choice.
Although the order was passed by Justice Sunita Agarwal on February 2, it was made public on Tuesday.
Earlier, the dismissal order came after unidentified people filmed Sharma with his partner and uploaded it on social media.
In the dismissal order, the commandant referred to Sharma's sexual orientation as "indulgence in untoward activity", as reported by The Hindustan Times.
Sharma then filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court, challenging the order. In a previous hearing, the bench had asked the officer who passed the order for his job cancellation to file a counter affidavit to the petition.
A single-judge bench constituting of Justice Sunita Agarwal said that the mention of a person's sexual orientation as "indulgence in untoward activity" was in violation of the Supreme Court's landmark verdict passed in 2018 that decriminalised homosexuality and upheld the rights of the LGBT community.
The court ordered the UP commandant general of home guards to take Sharma back in service with immediate effect.
The High Court said that the apex court, in this 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.
Further, the court also mentioned that "any display of affection" among members of the LGBT community in public "cannot be bogged down by the majority perception", so long as it does not amount to indecency or disturb public order.
The judge held the order cancelling the appointment "vindictive in nature" and said that Sharma is reinstated at his position as a home guard with immediate effect and be paid all his pending dues.
Awadesh Kumar Malviya, who represented Sharma, said, "We were able to argue that the man was dismissed from his job with no opportunity to make his case, investigation, or inquiry committee."
Sharma got hired for the position of the home guard in 1985 and later got promoted as an assistant company commander in 1992.
He served with a show-cause notice by the Bulandshahr district commandant of home guards and asked to explain the video showing him with another man.
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