New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declined to grant interim stay on the pathbreaking judgement of the Delhi high court (HC) legalizing homosexuality among consenting adults, saying there was no threat of any penal consequences.
The apex court said it will wait for the government to come out with a definite stand on the issue and also allowed intervenors, who were not a party before the high court, to present their case before it.
Out of the closet: A file picture of a gay pride parade in New Delhi. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
“We are not for stay as there is no threat of any consequences. We will hear the government, what is their stand,” a bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and justice P. Sathasivam said.
“Why not wait till government takes a definite stand,” the Bench said, adding, “We would have considered staying the judgement if there were penal consequences.”
The Bench, which accepted the plea of the government for more time to present its stand, posted the matter for hearing on 14 September.
However, it turned down the opposition from gay right activists for excluding those who were not a party before the high court from arguing against the verdict that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, prescribing punishment for gay sex among consenting adults in private with up to life imprisonment, was violative of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15 and 21.