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Centre moves SC for re-examination of homosexuality verdict

Friday, 20 December 2013 - 4:46pm IST | Agency: PTI

Government today moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its verdict reviving Section 377 of IPC making gay sex an offence punishable with life term, saying "recriminalisation" of sexual intercourse between same sex of consenting adults has put the LGBT persons at risk of prosecution and harassment.

The Centre said the review petition has been filed to "avoid grave miscarriage of justice to thousands of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) persons" who have been aggrieved by the apex court's December 11 judgement, contending it is "unsustainable" as it "suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record".

The Centre's petition settled by Attorney General G E Vahavati sought that oral arguments be heard in an open court before disposing of its review petition.

The review petitions are generally decided in chamber hearing.

In the petition filed through advocate Devdutt Kamath, the Centre has taken 76 grounds to contend that the judgement passed by Justice G S Singhvi (since retired) and Justice S J Mukhopadhaya "suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record, and is contrary to well-established principles of law laid down by this court enunciating the width and ambit of Fundamental Rights under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution."

The review petition contended that the December 11 verdict of the apex court setting aside the Delhi High Court's July 2, 2009 judgement decriminalising sexual intercourse between same sex of consenting adults, "suffers from glaring legal errors and seeks to invoke certain legal principles which were inapplicable in the facts of the present case".

"Following the High Court judgement that decriminalized adult consensual sexual acts in private, including homosexual acts, a considerable number of LGBT persons had become open about their sexual orientation and identity in their families, workplaces, educational institutions and public spaces, amongst others.

"All those people suddenly have become vulnerable to abuse and discrimination and require immediate relief," it said. 

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