Supreme Court to consider the Review Petitions on its verdict declaring gay sex illegal

Supreme Court to consider the Review Petitions on its verdict declaring gay sex illegal

The petitions which have been filed by Centre and rights activists seeking review of its verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment, will be taken up by a Supreme Court bench of Justices H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya today, who will take up the petition in chamber to decide whether the verdict needs to be reviewed or not.  Gay rights activists, including NGO Naz Foundation sought stay on the operation of the judgment, saying many from the LGBT community became open about their sexual identity during the past four years after the high court decriminalized gay sex and they are now confronting the danger of being accused. The submission made by them was thatthe fundamental rights of the LGBT community is violated by criminalizing gay sex.

As per the NGO, the review petitioner,  there are serious errors of law and the law is wrongly applied in the judgment, which needs to be corrected. They also feel that the 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 hampers access to health services, including HIV prevention efforts and even the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this court, supported this contention raised by the NGO. There was huge outrage against the judgment, during which the Centre also filed a review petition in the apex court as it wanted to review it so as to avoid seriouslapse of justice to thousands of LGBT persons who have been aggrieved by the apex court judgment arguing it is unjustifiable as it has lots of error.

The Supreme Court set aside the July 2, 2009 judgment of the Delhi High Court, which held that Section 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of the IPC does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and that the declaration made by the high court is legally unsustainable. The LGBT community got a major setback, when the Supreme Court on December 11 set aside the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalizing gay sex. The penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with life imprisonment was revived by the judgment, which was a huge blow to the people fighting battle for respect of their sexual preferences.

As per reports of Live Law, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya, setting aside Delhi High Court judgment which had decriminalized gay sex among consenting adults in private, stated that it is for legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC. It however allowed appeals filed by various social and religious organizations for making gay sex a criminal offence.