HC refuses to quash case against gay man

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Kan­chan Chaud­hari kan­chan.chaud­hari@hin­dus­tan­times.com Soibam Rocky Singh rocky.singh@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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