SC refuses stay on gay sex verdict

SC refuses stay on gay sex verdict

 The Supreme Court on Monday declined to pass any interim stay on the Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalised gay sex among consulting adults, saying there was no threat of any penal consequences.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said: “We are not for stay as there is no threat of any consequences. We will hear the government, what is their stand.’’
The apex court said it would wait for the government to come out with a definite stand on the issue and also allowed intervenors, who were not a party before the High Court, to present their case before it.

“Why not wait till government takes a definite stand,” the Bench said, adding that “we would have considered staying the judgement if there were penal consequences. But, here there are no penal consequences”.

The court granted more time for the government to file its reply and posted the matter for hearing on September 14.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati said the government was yet to decide on its stand on the issue and it would need some more time to file its reply.

Vahanvati said the government has taken a stand in the High Court and the judgement was of limited nature concerning consenting adults.

The court also refused to make any observation on gay  marriages, saying the High Court ruling has nothing to do with gay marriages and cases under Section 377 are registered only with regard to paedophiles.

However, the court turned down the opposition from gay right activists for excluding those who were not a party before the High Court from arguing that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was violative of the fundamental rights under Article 14, 15 and 21.
“It effects the whole country. They have a right to object. It is a matter of public interest/importance,” the court said.

Centre’s stand

Meanwhile, the Centre remained non-committal about its stand on the issue saying it would not take any hasty decision. Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters on Sunday that the government has taken note of the sentiments expressed by different sections of the people and it would not form a hasty opinion. 

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