Gay row: Plea to hear armed forces quashed

A Bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly dismissed an application filed by Suresh Kumar Koshal, an astrologer, who sought the direction to make three wings of the armed forces Army, Air Force and Navy as parties in the matter. The petitioner submitted that if homosexuality was legalised, there is an apprehension that such an activity would be misused in view of the situation in which defence personnel operated.

In the application, he also referred to a statement issued by Army Chief saying that homosexuality is deemed indecent and unnatural and could lead to court martial.
“Though the armed forces laws does not mention homosexuality but it is illegal under the Army Act and the Air Force Act which deal with disgraceful and indecent conduct,” he pointed out also referring to Navy Act terming such act as “indecent and unbecoming conduct”.
The court turned down his plea and dismissed the application.

During the brief proceedings, the court, however, allowed four different applications filed by noted film maker Shyam Benegal, parents of LGBT, mental health professionals and a Jawaharlal Nehru University professor to be treated as intervenors in the matter before it. Senior counsel Fali S Nariman, appearing on behalf of parents of LGBT (lesbians, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) submitted that different parties should be given time upto four to five weeks to file written submissions.

Counsel, appearing for BJP leader, B P Singhal, who contended that homosexuality is a crime like adultery which is also undertaken with consent between two adults, was tersely told by the court that it has yet not started hearing arguments.

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