SC to take call on Sec 377

More than two years after the Supreme Court turned down a plea to decriminalize gay sex in India, there is still hope for the LGBT community as the apex court has agreed to examine on February 2 whether it had erred in passing the judgment.
In a blow to gay rights, the Supreme Court had overturned a Delhi high court verdict decriminalizing gay sex among consenting adults in private. The apex court in 2013 revived the penal provision of Section 377 of IPC which was declared unconstitutional by the HC in 2009. The court had refused to review its order and dismissed the plea of gay rights activists. It, however, agreed to hear their curative petition, which is the last judicial resort for a litigant to get his grievances heard.
Although most of the curative petitions get dismissed during in-chamber proceedings, the SC has agreed to give an open court hearing on the issue. While reviving the controversial Section 377, the SC had, however, put the ball in the government's court, saying that it was free to amend the law by scrapping or reading down Section 377 of IPC through legislation. In 2009, the HC had ruled that Section 377, which criminalizes sex between adult homosexual men, was unconstitutional.
It would be interesting to see what stand the NDA government takes on the issue.Although finance minister Arun Jaitley openly criticized the SC verdict on gay sex terming it as one of the worst judgments delivered by the top court, other leaders within the ruling party are not comfortable with decriminalizing gay sex.
Jaitley said penal provision criminalizing gay sex should be done away with and the SC erred in upholding the constitutional validity of Section 377.

No comments: