Section 377: Supreme Court rejects review petition on judgement

Section 377: Supreme Court rejects review petition on judgement

Supreme Court has rejected the petition to review its judgement on Section 377. Court in December 2013 had struck down an earlier Delhi High Court decision that de-criminliased gay sex and declared gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment. Justice HL Dattu and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya who heard the plea for the review petition in the private chambers refused to accept the Centre's plea for reviewing the earlier decision by Justice Singhvi and Justice Mukhopadhaya. The SC decision had re-criminalised 'unnatural' sex once again.

 Previously former Delhi High Court Chief Justice and Law Commission of India Chairman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah expressed his views over the Supreme Court’s Judgment on Section 377 said the verdict was disappointing. Speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil’s Advocate in CNN-IBN justice shah said,” It is very difficult to say, but given the subject matter of the appeal I thought that our views would prevail.” For Live Law Report click here.

Seeking stay on the operation of the judgement, gay rights activists, including NGO Naz Foundation, said thousands from the LGBT community became open about their sexual identity during the past four years after the high court decriminalised gay sex and they are now facing the threat of being prosecuted. The NGO submitted in its petition that there are a number of "grave errors of law" and "wrong application of law" in the judgement which needs to be corrected.

"This court has failed to consider the submission that Section 377 violates the right to health of men who have sex with men, since criminalization of same sex activity impedes access to health services, including HIV prevention efforts. This contention was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this court," the petition said.

Judicial remedy left with the petitioners is to file a curative petition Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India