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Criminalising gay sex unconstitutional: Gay right activist to SC

Gay rights

Gay right activists today moved the Supreme Court pleading it to review its verdict for declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment 
Gay rightsNew Delhi: Gay right activists today moved the Supreme Court pleading it to review its verdict for declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment saying it amounts to violation of fundamental rights of the LGBT community.

The petition, filed by Naz Foundation, an NGO working for the welfare of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and on whose plea the Delhi High Court had decriminalize gay sex, pleaded for immediate stay of the judgement and submitted that review plea be heard in an open court proceedings.

The NGO submitted there are a number of “grave errors of law” and “wrong application of law” in the judgement which need to be corrected.

“This court has failed to consider the submission that Section 377 violates the right to health of men who have sex with men, since criminalization of same sex activity impedes access to health services, including HIV prevention efforts. This contention was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this court,” the petition said.

Seeking stay on the operation of the judgement, the NGO said thousands of LGBT persons became open about their sexual identity during the last four years after the High Court decriminalised gay sex and they are now facing the threat of being prosecuted.

“The impugned order this Court has caused immense prejudice to all adult persons engaging in consensual sex, in particular from the LGBT community who suddenly have been put at risk of prosecution under criminal law and require immediate relief,” it said.

Amidst huge outrage against the judgement, the Centre has already filed a review petition in the apex court.

The Centre sought review to “avoid grave miscarriage of justice to thousands of LGBT” persons who have been aggrieved by the apex court judgement contending it is “unsustainable” as it “suffers from errors”.

While setting aside the July 2, 2009 judgement of the Delhi High Court, the apex court had held that Section 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of the IPC does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and that the declaration made by the High Court is legally unsustainable.

PTI

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