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Justice GS Singhvi, judge who upheld gay sex as a criminal offence, retires as Supreme Court judge

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 - 6:44pm IST Updated: Wednesday, 11 December 2013 - 10:05pm IST | Agency: PTI

Justice G S Singhvi, known as a bold and pro-active Supreme Court judge who kept government on tenterhooks on public issues including 2G spectrum scam, retired today after delivering his last judgement upholding gay sex as a criminal offence.

Singhvi, the senior most Supreme Court judge, who heard a number of sensitive cases and pronounced landmark verdicts including scrapping of 2G spectrum licences during his a little over six-year tenure, had yesterday given a body blow to politicians and bureaucrats with a path-breaking judgement against misuse of red beacon lights on vehicles used by them, saying it was reflective of the "Raj mentality".

The 65-year-old judge had hit the spotlight when he directed the CBI to probe into various aspects of criminality arising out of the intercepted conversations of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with corporates, politicians and journalists.

However, Singhvi who used to go minutely into the case files, left unfinished the issue of right to privacy raised by former Tata chief Ratan Tata which arose from the Radia tapes and his tenure also saw many of the other important issues being left undecided. This includes plea on new drug pricing, police reforms and banning gutka.

The judge, whose many orders brought relief to the underprivileged and weaker sections, however, reflected his conservative and traditional approach regarding rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans genders (LGBT) by today setting aside the Delhi High Court's verdict which had ruled that no discrimination can be permitted in the country on the basis of sexual preferences.

His verdict drew sharp criticism from various quarters including some senior lawyers, who said that a historical opportunity to expand the constitutional values was lost by the judge.


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