Gay Law up for Review

Supreme Court refers gay law plea to five-judge Constitution bench

Statesman, New Delhi | 02 February, 2016

              (Note: Criminalization of gay sex was brought in by the British raj in the colonial era. They stopped practicing it themselves long ago. Still we in India are holding on to it and living in the dark ages.Most shameful thing is that there are spokes priests in the Catholic Church, on occasions like  Times-Now TV debate, supporting criminalization, as though he were unaware of what Pope Francis said in support of gay relationships and what  Cardinal Oswald  Gracias said in their support and even asked the Government  to decriminalize Gay sex. One wonders James Kottorwhich Catholic Church authority deputes priests who are know-nothings as spokespersons for the Catholic Church. When is the Catholic Church in India going to come out of the Dark ages and start living in the 21st century. These Church authorities have become an unbearable  shame and an eye sore to thinking sections of the Catholic Church. In despair they have started thinking with their feet, that is: Quitting the Church en-masse. james kottoor, editor)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear the petition filed by an NGO seeking to reverse the court’s judgment on Section 377, which makes gay sex a criminal offence.

The matter was referred to a five-judge Constitution bench. The apex court said that the curative petitions for de-criminalising homosexuality would be listed at an early date. The curative plea was filed by Naz Foundation which sought the “gross injustice” by the apex court’s December 2013 verdict in this issue be cured.

Arguing against section 377, senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that banning gay sex pushed the future generations into a life of indignity and stigma. The issue involved a question of far-reaching constitutional importance and must be heard by a five-judge bench, Sibal added. 

As senior counsel Anand Grover appearing for one of the eight petitioners seeking a relook at the apex court verdict sought to address the court, Chief Justice Thakur asked: "Is there anyone opposing it?" 

The court was told that an organisation representing the church, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and a few individuals were opposing the plea. 

By its order of December 12, 2013, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of Section 377 of IPC. Later in the review petition on January 28, 2014, the court again upheld the validity of Section 377, finding no constitutional infirmity in it.

With it, the Supreme Court had set aside the July 2009 Delhi High Court verdict by which it had read down Section 377 and decriminalising consensual sex between the adults of same gender.

The then bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice RM Lodha, Justice HL Dattu and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya had on April 3, 2014 directed the hearing of the curative petition in the open court after they considered the plea by Naz Foundation.

Naz Foundation had moved the Supreme Court seeking to cure “gross miscarriage of justice” in its judgment upholding the validity of section 377.

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