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Rediff.com  » News » SC refuses to stay HC's order legalising gay sex

SC refuses to stay HC's order legalising gay sex

Last updated on: July 20, 2009 14:30 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to pass an interim order staying the Delhi High Court's verdict legalising gay sex among consenting adults.

The apex court said it will wait for the government to come out with a definite stand on the issue. "We are not for a stay as there is no threat of any consequences. We will hear the government, what is their stand," a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam said.

"Why not wait till the government takes a definite stand," the bench said before posting the matter for a hearing on September 14.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati said that the government has taken a stand and it will reconsider it again as three ministries are involved in the matter. He said the Centre was not in favour of a stay on the high court order.

Vahanvati said that the government has taken a stand in the high court and the judgment was of a limited nature concerning gay sex between consenting adults.

The apex court refused to make any observations relating to the legitimacy of the gay marriages when a submission was made about it.

The counsel opposing the high court verdict wanted the court to say that such a marriage was not legitimate. When a reference was made about Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the bench said, "Cases under Section 377 are registered only with regard to paedophiles. People are being convicted but it has nothing to do with gay marriages."

The apex court had earlier issued notice to the Centre, seeking its response on the petition filed by a Delhi astrologer, challenging the high court verdict. Notices were also issued to Naz Foundation, the non-governmental organisation, and other respondents who were parties before the high court.

Astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal has sought quashing of the July 2 high court judgment legalising gay sex between consenting adults in private, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with life imprisonment.

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