The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre on a
petition challenging the Delhi High Court judgement legalising gay
sex among the consenting adults.
The apex court posted the matter for hearing on July 20. The Bench
headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that any interim order
against the High Court verdict, if necessary, will be considered
only after hearing the parties concerned.
Notices were also issued to Naz Foundation, the NGO and other
respondents who were parties before the High Court. The court was
hearing the appeal filed by Suresh Kumar Kaushal, an astrologer,
against the July 2 verdict of the High Court.
While mentioning the petition, the counsel, appearing for the
astrologer, said that since the High Court verdict, there have been
seven cases of gay marriages, and raised several questions, which,
he claimed, were likely to affect the institution of marriage.
However, the Bench said, "We have not changed the definition of
marriage." During the brief hearing, when the counsel was pointing
to what he claimed was the adverse impact of the judgement
decriminalising gay sex among the consenting adults, the Bench said
the police had not been registering cases in such matters. It said
though the law has been in force since 1860, there have been only a
handful cases under the penal provision except those of paedophile
cases. For "gay sex, to my knowledge, no body has been prosecuted,"
the Bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivam, said.
The petition filed by Kaushal sought quashing of July 2 verdict of
the High Court legalising gay sex between consenting adults in
private, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with upto
life imprisonment. The petition contended that homosexual acts, by
all standards, were "unnatural" and could not be permitted. "No one
can imagine the consequences of the unnatural acts. Even animals
don't indulge in such activities," he said in his petition.
said the High Court judgement would result in spread of HIV virus as
"it has been amply proven" that the infection was contracted through
such sexual acts. "We have to look at our own scriptures to seek
guidance from them and they are against such behaviour in our
society. If such abnormality is permitted, then tomorrow people
might seek permission for having sex with animals," he argued.