NEW DELHI, July 17 - The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a clutch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code which criminalises consensual gay sex.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra concluded hearing the arguments on the contentious issue after detailed hearing of four days, which had commenced on July 10.
The bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, asked the parties to file written submissions in support of their claims by July 20.
The verdict is likely to be pronounced before October 2 this year as Justice Misra would be retiring as CJI on that day.
Section 377 refers to �unnatural offences� and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
The apex court heard the writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath, Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur and 20 former and current students of the IITs.
They have sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex by declaring Section 377 of IPC as illegal and unconstitutional. � PTI