The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere in its earlier order that had criminalised gay sex in the country.
In yet another setback to the LGBT community, a bench of Justices H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya, in in-chamber proceedings, dismissed a bunch of petitions filed by the Centre and gay activists, including noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal, against its December verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable with up to life imprisonment.
“We have gone through the review petitions and connected papers. We see no reason to interfere with the order impugned. The review petitions are, accordingly, dismissed,” the bench said in its brief order.
According to legal experts, with the dismissal of the review plea, the petitioners are left with only one option to get relief — by filing a curative petition. The ball is also in the government’s court to amend laws in Parliament which was also suggested by the court in its judgment.
The apex court also rejected the plea for oral hearing on the review petitions which are normally decided by judges in-chamber without giving an opportunity to the parties to present their views. The court had revived the penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with life imprisonment, in a blow to those pushing for recognition of their sexual preferences.