CJI Thakur to decide on fresh plea challenging

CJI Thakur to decide on fresh plea challenging gay sex ban

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) A two-judge Supreme Court bench on Wednesday declined to hear a fresh petition by high profile celebrities challenging criminalisation of consensual gay and lesbian sex, and the matter was referred to Chief Justice T.S. Thakur.

The bench headed by Justice S.A. Bobde said the petition by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Navtej Singh Johar and celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia should be placed before the Chief Justice to decide if it can be heard along with a batch of curative petitions on the same issue pending in the court.

Senior counsel Arvind Datar told the court that the earlier petitions challenging the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code were filed by NGOs like rights group Naz Foundation. But it was the first time that lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens have filed a writ petition seeking to quash the colonial era law that criminalises homosexuality.

The bench said it would hear only after the decision by the constitution bench before which the curative petitions are pending.

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