SC dismisses plea to hear armed forces on homosexuality

The SC dismissed a plea to make armed forces a party to the petitions supporting and opposing the Delhi HC`s ruling which decriminalised homosexual acts between two consenting adults.

Updated: Feb 07, 2011, 19:10 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea to make armed forces a party to the petitions supporting and opposing the Delhi High Court`s ruling which
decriminalised homosexual acts between two consenting adults
in private.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi dismissed the
plea made by one Suresh Kumar Kaushal, who submitted that the
defence forces should be made a party to the matter in view of
the fact that the Defence Forces Act renders homosexual
behaviour as illegal.

The petitioner also submitted that the army chief had
said that no armed force in the world has legalised
homosexuality and that it is illegal under the Army Act and
the Air Force Act.

He contended that the armed forces be impleaded in
the case as their stand is contrary to the judgement
of the Delhi High Court, which had decriminalised gay sex
among consenting adults in private.

The apex court, however, was not convinced and
dismissed his application.

The Delhi High Court had on July 2, 2009, declared the
penal provision, Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, as
unconstitutional in case of gay sex among consenting adults in
private. As per the Section 377 of the IPC, gay sex is a
criminal offence punishable with up to life imprisonment.

Around 15 individuals and organisations from different
fields have approached the apex court supporting or opposing
the path-breaking verdict which had sparked off a controversy.

Several political, social and religious organisations
have asked the Supreme Court to give the final verdict on the
issue.

Senior BJP leader B P Singhal, who had opposed the high
court`s verdict legalising the consensual gay sex in private,
has challenged the verdict in the apex court saying such acts
are illegal, immoral and against the ethos of Indian culture.

Religious organisations like All India Muslim Personal
Law Board, Utkal Christian Council and Apostolic Churches
Alliance have also opposed the High Court`s verdict.

Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Right, Tamil
Nadu Muslim Munn Kazhgam, astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal and
yoga guru Ramdev have also opposed the verdict in the high
court.

The parties opposing the high court verdict contended
that homosexual acts, by all standards, were "unnatural" and
could not be permitted.

The apex court had declined to stay the verdict and had
said "any interim order against the high court verdict, if
necessary, will be considered only after hearing the parties
concerned".

PTI