Supreme Court sets aside Delhi HC verdict decriminalising gay sex

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"Section 377, which holds same-sex relations unnatural, does not suffer from unconstitutionality"

In a major setback to gay rights activists, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that homosexuality or unnatural sex between two consenting adults under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is illegal and will continue to be an offence. This provision did not suffer from any constitutional infirmity, it said.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadaya set aside the Delhi High Court’s verdict decriminalising homosexuality . Section 377 holds that whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal commits an unnatural offence. The Bench said: “We hold that Section 377 does not suffer from… unconstitutionality and the declaration made by the Division Bench of the High Court is legally unsustainable.” It, however, said: “Notwithstanding this verdict, the competent legislature shall be free to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section 377 from the statute book or amend it as per the suggestion made by Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Singhvi (who retired on Wednesday) said: “Those who indulge in carnal intercourse in the ordinary course and those who indulge in carnal intercourse against the order of nature constitute different classes; and the people falling in the latter category cannot claim that Section 377 suffers from the vice of arbitrariness and irrational classification. What Section 377 does is merely to define the particular offence and prescribe punishment for the same which can be awarded if, in the trial conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and other statutes of the same family, the person is found guilty. Therefore, the High Court was not right in declaring Section 377 ultra vires Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.”

Written By: J. Venkatesan
continue to source article at thehindu.com

12 COMMENTS

  1. What seems to happen with homophobic religious zealots is that they seem to think that they can justify their hatred by insisting that it goes against nature, without ever proving that they have even the remotest clue what the fuck they are on about.

  2. ** As Justice GS Singhvi announced the order, activists and members of the gay and lesbian community present outside the court began crying and hugging each other. Some asked if after the court ruling, they had become criminals.
    Source: BBC News – India top court reinstates gay sex ban **

    This is what we have become – the worlds most populous “democracy”! Slap in the face for those men and women who fought for our freedom. We are openly willing to torture innocent people for who they are. What an insult to Gautama Siddhartha and Gandhi and Annie Besant and countless others!

    I have said this a million times, if monotheistic faiths are viruses affecting our well being, hinduism is the cancer of the worst kind – goes unnoticed but turns your own kind against you – in more deadlier ways than one could imagine.

  3. “Section 377, which holds same-sex relations unnatural, does not suffer from unconstitutionality”

    if nature can be defined by politiicans why not overturn the laws of gravity to help their space program?

  4. A bit of history on Section 377,

    Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1861, introduced during the British rule of India, criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature”, including homosexual acts.
    The section was declared unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults by the High Court of Delhi on 2 July 2009. That judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court of India on 11 December 2013, with the Court holding that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary.

  5. If the premise of the law is wrong, the law is wrong. There is no: against nature in nature. And why do so called civilizations concern themselves with what is natural anyway? The whole concept of a humanity living in close contact by the millions is “against nature” of a species that has lived tribally in bands for longer than it has lived in large societies.

  6. So let’s be Devil’s Advocate for a moment and say that it does go “against nature” (whatever the hell that really even means – isn’t using a microwave “against nature”? – but I digress), there is still the problem of why do you or anyone care what I do in the privacy of my house with a consenting adult? That’s really the issue – a right to privacy. How are these cases prosecuted? Third world silliness.

  7. I have a list of a few other things that are “against the order of nature”, I wonder if they are about to be forbidden in India:

    Medicine/hospitals and the health industry,
    Capturing lightning and using it to power any electrical equipment,
    Cooking food

    Anyone like to suggest any others?

    • In reply to #11 by N_Ellis:

      I have a list of a few other things that are “against the order of nature”, I wonder if they are about to be forbidden in India:

      Medicine/hospitals and the health industry,
      Capturing lightning and using it to power any electrical equipment,
      Cooking food

      Anyone like to suggest any others?

      The caste system.

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