Rainbow cheer for activists as SC to hear plea
NEW DELHI: When the Supreme Court hears a petition filed by a group of LGBT celebrities challenging IPC Section 377 that criminalises homosexuality on Wednesday, the Centre is likely to request the court to set up a special bench so that constitutionality of the penal provision could be discussed.
“The government has already discussed the issue of 377 with the Attorney-General. We will place our arguments in front of the Supreme Court. Cannot say more on the issue as the matter is subjudice,” Union Minister of Law and Justice D V Sadananda Gowda said on Tuesday.
In February, the apex court had agreed to re-examine its December 2013 verdict that quashed a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising gay sex and sent to a larger five-judge constitution bench all the curative petitions seeking a review of the order described by activists as being regressive and leaving gays vulnerable to violence and police action.
On Monday members of the LGBT community such as chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and dancer N S Johar approached the court seeking the quashing of Section 377, saying, “Despite their achievements and contributions to India in various fields, they are being denied the right to sexuality, the most basic and inherent of fundamental rights. Section 377 renders them criminals in their own country,” the petition said.