Challenge to Section 377: SC frowns on Centre’s delay in filing response
New Delhi, July 9: The Supreme Court took strong exception after the Centre failed to file its response to a petition that challenged the criminalisation of gay sex. The court had agreed to review its 2013 decision which had upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
The plea is being heard by a five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. The Centre on Monday requested for time to file its reposes in the case. The court however said that it would not adjourn the hearing that has been scheduled for Tuesday.
The court observed that the matter has been pending for sometime now and the Centre ought to have filed its response. We will not adjourn the matter. You can file whatever you want during the hearing, the Bench also said.
Five miners of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community had sought a review of the SC decision. They said that they live in fear of the police because of their natural sexual orientation and preferences.
In 2013, a three judge Bench had upheld the validity of Section 377, which criminalises gay sex. After this was challenged in a review, the matter was referred to a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.