SC refuses to delay hearing in Section 377 case


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused the central government’s plea for adjourning a scheduled hearing by a constitution bench on July 10 challenging its verdict that had re-criminalised consensual carnal sex between two adults.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to defer the hearing after the Centre sought more time to file its response on petitions against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that makes homosexuality a crime.

The Centre had requested SC to adjourn the hearing as it sought more time to file its response on the matter.

The newly re-constituted five-judge constitution bench is scheduled to commence hearing of four crucial matters, including consensual gay sex, from Tuesday.

The Supreme Court had in 2013 restored sexual relationship between persons of same sex as a criminal offence.

Earlier, the top court referred to a constitution bench several pleas filed by eminent citizens and NGO Naz Foundation challenging a 2013 apex court verdict which re-criminalised gay sex between consenting adults.

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.

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