SC notice to Centre on pleas challenging gay sex
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Last Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009, 19:02
  
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from government on petitions filed by a Christian body and a disciple of Yoga guru Ramdev seeking a stay on the Delhi High Court verdict legalising gay sex on the ground it will have a catastrohic effect on the society's moral fabric.

The apex court's order issuing a notice to the Centre came after the advocates for Christian Apostolic Churches Alliance, an umbrella of 22 churches in the national capital and S K Tijarawala, a disciple of Ramdev, filed separate petitions challenging the HC verdict on the ground that it will have a catastrophic effect on moral fabric of society.

Before tagging their petitions with the another bunch of similar petitions challenging the judgement, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam wanted to know from the two petitioners what adverse consequences they foresaw on society if the High Court verdict became operational.

"What consequences are you talking about?" the Bench said.

The lawyer representing Tejarwala said "there is a likelyhood of destruction of matrimonial household".

"The moral fabric of the country has been ruptured by this judgement," the lawyer for the Christian body said adding other implications of the verdict was that it will lead to coming up of brothels for male prostitution and gay parlours. The lawyers said the nature of the HC judgement and the language used in it will lead to its misinterpretation for legalisation of prostitution.

However, the Bench disagreed with the argument saying "prostitution is defined under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act".

Both the petitions are likely to come up for hearing on September 14 along with another bunch of similar petitions filed by astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal and others challenging the High Court judgement on which the apex court on July 20 had issued a notice to the Centre seeking its response.

The apex court had also refused to stay the High Court's judgement saying it would wait for the government to come forward with its response on the issue.

Notices were also issued to Naz Foundation, the NGO, and other respondents who were parties before the High Court.

Kaushal sought setting aside of the July two High Court verdict legalising gay sex between consenting adults in private, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with upto life imprisonment.

The petition filed through the disciple of the yoga guru has challenged the judgement contending that homosexual activities are not only against public morality, public health and healthy environment but also against the interest of the society. "...homosexual activities which are otherwise unnatural pose a high risk of exposure of a large chunk of population to dangerous sexually transmitted disease including HIV/AIDS," the petition said.

"The decision of the High Court, if allowed to sustain, will have catastrophic effects on the moral fabric of society and will jeopardise the institution of marriage itself. This offends the structure of Indian value system, Indian culture and traditions, as derived from religious scriptures," it said.

Bureau Report


First Published: Monday, August 17, 2009, 19:02


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