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12 year long case questioning the legality of section 377 of the IPC


homosexualityNew Delhi: The Supreme Court today set aside the Delhi High Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex and upheld the legality of section 377 of the IPC, entailing imprisonment with up to life term.

Read the chronology of the 12-year-long legal proceedings:

2001: An NGO fighting for gay rights, Naz Foundation, files PIL in Delhi High Court seeking legalization of gay sex among consenting adults.

Sept 2, 2004: High Court dismisses the PIL seeking decriminalization of gay sex.

Sept: Gay right activists file review petition.

Nov 3: HC dismisses the review plea.

Dec: Gay rights activists approach the apex court against the order of the High Court.

Apr 3, 2006: Apex court directs the HC to reconsider the matter on merit and remands the case back to High Court.

Oct 4: HC allows senior BJP leader BP Singhal’s plea, opposing decriminalizing gay sex, to be impleaded in the case.

Sept 18, 2008: Centre seeks more time to take stand on the issue after the contradictory stand between the Home and Health ministries over decriminalization of homosexuality. HC refuses the plea and final argument in the case begins.

Sept 25: Gay rights activists contend that the government cannot infringe upon their fundamental right to equality by decriminalizing homosexual acts on the ground of morality.

Sept 26: HC pulls up the Centre for speaking in two voices on the homosexuality law in view of contradictory affidavits filed by Health and Home ministries.

Sept 26: Centre says gay sex is immoral and a reflection of a perverse mind and its decriminalization would lead to moral degradation of society.

Oct 15, 2008: HC pulls up the Centre for relying on religious texts to justify ban on gay sex and asks it to come up with scientific reports to justify it.

Nov: Government in its written submission before the HC says judiciary should refrain from interfering in the issue as it is basically for Parliament to decide.

Nov 7: HC reserves its verdict on petitions filed by gay rights activists seeking decriminalization of homosexual acts.

Jul 2, 2009: HC allows plea of gay rights activists and legalizes gay sex among consenting adults.

Jul 9: Delhi astrologer challenges HC verdict in SC. Later on, several others including BJP leader Singhal (since dead), religious organizations, rights activists and yoga guru Ramdev’s disciple have also opposed the judgment.

Feb 15, 2012: SC begins final day-to-day hearing in the case.

March 27, 2012: SC reserves verdict.

Dec 11, 2013: SC sets aside the 2009 Delhi High Court order which had decriminalized gay sex.


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