Gay rights activists had submitted that criminalising gay sex amounts to violation of fundamental rights of the LGBT community.

In a major setback to gay rights activists, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review its December 11 judgment, holding that homosexuality or unnatural sex between two consenting adults was illegal.

A Bench of Justices H. L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya held that this provision (Section 377 of the IPC) did not suffer from any constitutional infirmity and said there were no grounds to interfere with the order.

The Centre, the Naz Foundation and several gay activists had filed petitions for a review of the judgment.

Now, the option before them is to file a curative petition, which will be heard by four or five senior-most judges.

Naz Foundation executive director Anjali Gopalan expressed no surprise. “The decision was on expected lines as there is a very rare chance of a petition getting heard. It shows the issue is not at all important to them.”

Anjan Joshi of NGO Empowerment said his organisation would file a curative petition. In its petition, the Centre said the law must reflect social change and the aspirations of society. “There has been a sea change, not just in India but all over the world, in the law on homosexuality.”

From the archives:

Delhi High Court strikes down Section 377 of IPC

Religious leaders criticise Delhi High Court order

Editorial: Don’t dither on Section 377

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