Supreme Court Rejects Centre's Pleas To Defer Hearing
Section 377: The Supreme Court of India refused to defer Tuesday’s scheduled hearing on a batch of petitions challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality in the country. The Constitution Bench of Supreme Court will hear petitions against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code on Tuesday 2018.
It will not be adjourned… We will go ahead with the scheduled hearing… You file whatever you want during the hearing,” the bench told the Centre’s counsel.
A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, D Y Chandrachud and Justices A M Khanwilkar said it will not defer the hearing after the Centre sought more time to file its reply.
Giving its nod to a plea filed by Indian Institute of Technology’s LGBT alumni association in May 2018, the apex court decided to hear about the scrapping of Section 377 of IPC.
On April 27, 2018, Ashok Rao Kavi of Humsafar Trust and Arif Jaffar also filed petitions against Section 377. Even hotelier Keshav Suri, filed a plea in this regard in the Apex court of the county. The business tycoon last month tied the knots with his partner Cyril Feuillebois in Paris. In response to Suri’s plea, Supreme Court on April 23 sought the reply of Centre on the plea seeking scrapping of Section 377.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by the CJI will begin hearing the petitions Tuesday. Others on the bench are Justices, A M Khanwilkar, R F Nariman, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
It is to be noted that in 2009, the Delhi High Court had decriminalized Section 377. However, in December 2013, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court order and asked Parliament to bring a law if it wanted to decriminalize it. Later, the apex court also dismissed the Centre’s review plea on the subject.
In August 2017, the Supreme Court, in its landmark privacy ruling, termed sexual orientation as an essential attribute of privacy. This again brought hopes in the LGBT community and fresh petitions came to be filed in the apex court which referred them for hearing to a Constitution Bench.