HC refuses to quash case against gay man
It cannot be said that the offence under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is not an offence against society, said the Bombay high court on Wednesday, while rejecting a plea filed by a 33-year-old Navi Mumbai resident. The plea sought to quash criminal proceedings against him for allegedly having unnatural sex with a 27-year-old man from the same locality.
Section 377 criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature”, arguably including homosexual acts.
A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Amjad Sayed said it cannot be said it is not an offence against society, especially after the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the penal section.
The married petitioner, however, sought criminal proceedings be quashed on the ground that he had amicably settled the matter with the “victim”.
On September 11, 2013, the Koparkhairane police station registered a first information report (FIR) against him under section 377 for having unnatural sex with a neighbour. The FIR was registered against the 33-year-old after his wife approached the high court.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday referred a petition filed by five LGBT celebrities seeking to legalise gay sex to Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur for “appropriate orders”, saying a similar matter was already pending before a constitution bench.
On behalf of the LGBT celebs — chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath, dancer NS Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra and business executive Ayesha Kapur — senior advocate Arvind Datar contended it was the first time that the affected people themselves approached the court against the colonial era law that criminalised homosexuality.