29 Jan 2014

Court refuses to review gay sex ban

8:21 am on 29 January 2014

The Supreme Court in India has rejected a plea filed by the government and activist groups to review a ruling that reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex.

The bench on Tuesday dismissed petitions filed by the government and rights groups against a verdict last month that recriminalised gay sex and made it an offence punishable by up to life imprisonment.

Protestors outside the Supreme Court after the latest ruling.

Protestors outside the Supreme Court after the latest ruling. Photo: AFP

"We see no reason to interfere with the order impugned. The review petitions are dismissed," Supreme Court Justices H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya said in their decision.

In its ruling on 11 December, the court reversed a lower court verdict from 2009 that had set aside a 1860 law outlawing "carnal intercourse against the order of nature".

The government asked the court to reconsider its decision to "avoid a grave miscarriage of justice to thousands of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals".

Naz Foundation lawyer Anand Grover said he was "shocked" by the decision to reject the review petitions.

But he told AFP that though "this battle may be lost, the war will still go on".