From the US with love

The Supreme Court, which is hearing intense arguments both for and against Delhi High Court’s historic decision to decriminalize consensual adult gay sex in private, recently received gift boxes for its judges all the way from the US. The boxes contained printed material on homosexuality, its traits and legal implications, which is being dealt with in great detail by a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhay. For the past month, day-to-day hearing on appeals against the HC’s July 9, 2009 judgment has attracted many foreign students and scholars. Watching the proceedings from the visitors’ gallery, they were seen breaking into animated discussions when the judges attempted to dig deep into the legal aspects of the issue relating to decriminalization of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code. But someone from the US thought of providing inputs to the process of judicial adjudication of the petitions in an innovative way and posted gift boxes full of material on homosexuality not only to the judges hearing the appeals but to all the SC judges. The Supreme Court Registry, as a practice, does not accept gifts for the judges. But in this case, it made a departure and delivered the gift boxes to the judges. Narrating the unusual incident on Thursday, Justice Singhvi said, “Some interesting thing happened when the case was being heard by the court... I refused to accept it and returned it back to the Registry without opening the box. But I was told by my colleague judge that it contained material regarding this case.” The attempt to provide inputs to the lively discussions taking place before the bench did not achieve its objective as Justice Singhvi did not even open the gift box. But the judges on the bench will not be short of material as a battery of senior advocates have already provided reams on the issue to the court, both for and against.

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