The Supreme Court of India on 11 December 2013 upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code making gay sex an offence punishable with upto life imprisonment.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya set aside the Delhi High Court's verdict which had in 2009 decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults in private.
The Supreme Court bench allowed the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations challenging the Delhi high court verdict on the ground that gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country.
The Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional infirmity in section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, IPC which makes gay sex an offence punishable with upto life imprisonment.
With the apex court verdict, the operation of penal provision against gay sex has come into force. The bench stated Parliament is authorised to delete section 377 of IPC but till the time this penal provision is there, the court cannot legalise this kind of sexual relationship.
The court passed the order on a batch of petitions of anti-gay right activists and social and religious organisations against the Delhi High Court's verdict decriminalising gay sex.
The Delhi High Court had on 2 July 2009 decriminalised gay sex as provided in Section 377 of the IPC and had ruled that sex between two consenting adults in private would not be an offence.
Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 377: Unnatural offences; 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 ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
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Who: Supreme Court
Where: New Delhi
When: 11 December 2013