"Please read the judgement first. Then you can come and ask me questions," Justice Singhvi, who demitted office as a judge of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, said in response to a question that the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender community across the country was disappointed with his decision to set aside the Delhi High Court judgement.

His view was sought after a program to bid him farewell on his last day at the apex court. In his judgement, Justice Singhvi set aside the 2009 verdict of the Delhi High Court, which had decriminalized gay sex among consenting adults in private.

Justice Singhvi left it to the Parliament to amend Section 377 of the IPC which considers gay sex as an offence and prescribes a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Speaking at the function, Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam appreciated the work done by Justice Singhvi in his over six-year-long tenure in the apex court and praised the views taken by him in various cases including the Noida land acquisition matter.

He said Justice Singhvi was a part of the judiciary for over 23 years and in his six years in the apex court he passed several important judgements on issues which include the Noida land acquisition, the use of red beacons and gay sex.

The CJI credited Justice Singhvi for the success of the recently held National Lok Adalat, which had disposed of 71.78 lakh cases across the country.

The CJI also said that a Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee, headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, has been set up to look into complaints of sexual harassment within the apex court precincts. He said the panel will work as per Vishaka guidelines.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association President MN Krishnamani said he was in agreement with the verdict on gay sex and welcomed it saying ‘it is a very good judgement’.

He, however, questioned the reason for the gap of over a year between reserving the verdict in the matter and its pronouncement.

(Agencies)

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