Curative pleas against 2013 judgement re-criminalising consensual gay sex infructuous, says SC

The court said the 2013 judgement have become "infructuous" keeping in mind the subsequent 2018 verdict decriminalising the act.

ByPTI

Published Feb 08, 2024 | 9:11 PMUpdatedFeb 08, 2024 | 9:11 PM

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 8 February, said the curative pleas against the 2013 judgement, which had re-criminalised consensual gay sex in private, have become “infructuous” keeping in mind the subsequent 2018 verdict decriminalising the act.

A five-judge constitution bench, on 6 September, 2018, had unanimously decriminalised a part of Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the right to equality and “manifestly arbitrary”. The pleas were filed by dancer Navtej Singh Jauhar and others.

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The judgements

Prior to this, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, in 2013, had overruled an earlier 2009 Delhi High Court judgment that had decriminalised consensual gay sex in private.

The review pleas against the 2013 judgement were also dismissed and that had led to filing of the curative petitions in 2014.

A five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices BR Gavai, Bela M Trivedi, Pankaj Mithal and Manoj Misra on Thursday said the subsequent judgement in the Navtej Singh Jauhar case by which consensual gay sex was decrimnalised has made these curative petitions infructuous.

“We will say this curative petition became infructuous in view of the constitution bench judgment we rendered in Navtej Johar,” the CJI observed.

The case, seeking decriminalisation of gay sex, has a significantly long legal history.

Initially, the NGO Naaz Foundation, in 2001, filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court seeking the legalisation of gay sex among consenting adults. The PIL was dismissed.

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