The Supreme Court is all set to commence crucial hearing tomorrow on a clutch of pleas challenging re-criminalisation of consensual gay sex between two adults, rejecting the Centre's plea seeking postponement of the proceedings.
A newly re-constituted five-judge constitution bench has posted tomorrow for hearing the petitions challenging section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises unnatural sex between two consenting adults.
The new five-judge bench will be headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprise Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
A bench led by the Chief Justice today did not agree to the submission of the Centre that it should be granted four weeks to file its reply to the petitions and the hearing be adjourned.
"No, no. It will not be adjourned," the bench, which also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, sought deferment of the crucial hearing.
Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
The apex court had in 2013 had restored the criminality of the sexual relationship between persons of the same sex, after the Delhi High Court' had decriminalised it in 2009.