SC refuses to examine fresh plea on gay sex

SC refuses to examine fresh plea on gay sex

Bench prefers to send petition to CJI

SC refuses to examine fresh plea on gay sex
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to examine a fresh plea made by some prominent personalities from the LGBT community for decriminalising homosexual act among consenting adults.

Indulging into homosexual act is an offence under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, punishable with life term.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, however, directed that the petition would be placed before the Chief Justice of India for deciding if it could be heard along with a batch of curative petitions on the same subject.

Senior advocate Arvind P Datar, representing chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and dancer N S Johar, urged the court to hear the plea afresh.

He submitted that this was the first time people, whose rights were affected by the penal provision, had come to the court. All the previous petitions had been filed by NGOs and other groups. To this, the bench said, we are not inclined to hear it since another bench is already examining it.

The bench said the petitioners can wait till a five-judge bench decided a batch of curative petitions filed against the apex court’s judgment in 2013, upholding validity of Section 377 of the IPC.

Datar, on his part, submitted that the petitioners could also be heard by the five-judge bench.

The SC had in 2013 set aside the Delhi High Court judgment of July 2, 2009, which had decriminalised Section 377 of the IPC. It had said only Parliament has the power to quash the 1861 law, which made homosexuality a punishable offence. It had also dismissed a batch of review petitions. But in February this year, the apex court referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the curative petitions for decriminalising homosexuality among consenting adults after those fighting for rights of lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender community claimed present and future generations are bound by the stigma and indignity in view of the penal provision.