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The hearing in the challenge to Section 377 of Indian Penal Code concluded on July 17, 2018 in the Supreme Court.
The hearing had commenced on July 10, 2018 before a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chadrachud and Indu Malhotra and lasted for four days.
Introduced by the British during the colonial era, Section 377 penalises all sexual activities “against the order of nature“. Modelled on the then-existing English Buggery Act (1553), this provision effectively came to be used to criminalise sexual activity between homosexuals persons.
In 2009, the Delhi High Court read down Section 377 to decriminalise consensual sexual activity between adults in the Naz Foundation case. However, in an appeal against the Delhi High court verdict, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court overturned this judgment in 2013 to reinstate sexual intercourse between homosexual persons as a criminal offence in the Suresh Kumar Koushal case.
Subsequently, writ petitions came to be filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Constitutionality of the provision. This challenge was eventually referred to a Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
Below are the arguments made by various lawyers appearing for the parties in the case.
Mukul Rohatgi for Navtej Singh Johar
Arvind Datar for Keshav Suri
Menaka Guruswamy for Anwesh Pokkuluri
Anand Grover for Arif Jafar
Jayna Kothari for Akkai Padmashali
ASG Tushar Mehta for Central government
Shyam Divan for Voices Against 377
CU Singh for Alok Sarin
Krishnan Venugopal for academicians from Central Universities based in Delhi
ORIGINAL RESPONDENTS IN CURATIVE PETITION
Manoj George for Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Council
KS Radhakrishnan for Trust God Ministries
Below are the written submissions of the lawyers who appeared in the matter.
Affidavit by Central government