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SC denied to review judgment on homosexuality
Jan 29, 2014

A major setback came to the LGBT community when the Supreme Court declined to review its December 11 judgment, holding that homosexuality or unnatural sex between two consenting adults was illegal.

A Bench of Justices H. L. Dattu and S. J. Mukhopadhaya held that this provision (Section 377 of the IPC) did not suffer from any constitutional infirmity and said there were no grounds to interfere with the order. Now, the option before them is to file a curative petition, which will be heard by four or five senior-most judges.

The petition filed by the Centre stated that the law must reflect social change and the aspirations of society. It also stated that there has been a sea change, not just in India but all over the world, in the law on homosexuality. A majority of the countries have legalised homosexuality.

Earlier judgment

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya has set aside the 2009 Delhi High Court judgement which had decriminalised gay sex. This will continue making gay sex — "irrespective of age and consent" — an offence punishable with a sentence up to life term under Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code. While setting aside the order, the apex court allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations for making gay sex a criminal offence.

The apex court observed that there is no constitutional infirmity in section 377 of IPC which makes gay sex an offence. The court held that Section 377 did "not suffer from any constitutional infirmity" and that it was for Parliament "to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section 377 from the statute book or amend it, as per the suggestion made by the Attorney General.









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