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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

SC to decide on plea against decriminalising gay sex today

PTI  New Delhi, December 10, 2013
First Published: 20:28 IST(10/12/2013) | Last Updated: 09:05 IST(11/12/2013)

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its verdict on petitions challenging Delhi high court judgment decriminalising gay sex among consenting adults in private.

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A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice SJ Mukhopadhaya will deliver the verdict on a bunch of petitions of anti-gay right activists, social and religious organisations against the high court's 2009 verdict decriminalising gay sex.

The judgment would be pronounced by justice Singhvi on the day he retires.

The bench had reserved its order in March last year after granting day-to-day hearing of the case from February 15, 2012.

While hearing the appeal, the apex court had pulled up the Centre for its "casual" approach on decriminalisation of homosexuality and also expressed concern over Parliament not discussing such important issues and blaming the judiciary instead for its "overreach".

While pleading for decriminalisation of gay sex, the Centre had told the court that the anti-gay law in the country had resulted from British colonialism and the Indian society was much more tolerant towards homosexuality.

The high court had on July 2, 2009, decriminalised gay sex as provided in section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and ruled that sex between two consenting adults in private would not be an offence.

Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC makes gay sex a criminal offence, entailing punishment up to life term.

Senior BJP leader BP Singhal, who died in October last year, had challenged the high court verdict in the Supreme Court, saying such acts are illegal, immoral and against the ethos of Indian culture.

Religious organisations such as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Utkal Christian Council and Apostolic Churches Alliance too had challenged the judgment.


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