A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadaya set aside the Delhi High Court’s verdict decriminalising homosexuality . Section 377 holds that whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal commits an unnatural offence. The Bench said: “We hold that Section 377 does not suffer from… unconstitutionality and the declaration made by the Division Bench of the High Court is legally unsustainable.” It, however, said: “Notwithstanding this verdict, the competent legislature shall be free to consider the desirability and propriety of deleting Section 377 from the statute book or amend it as per the suggestion made by Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Singhvi (who retired on Wednesday) said: “Those who indulge in carnal intercourse in the ordinary course and those who indulge in carnal intercourse against the order of nature constitute different classes; and the people falling in the latter category cannot claim that Section 377 suffers from the vice of arbitrariness and irrational classification. What Section 377 does is merely to define the particular offence and prescribe punishment for the same which can be awarded if, in the trial conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and other statutes of the same family, the person is found guilty. Therefore, the High Court was not right in declaring Section 377 ultra vires Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.”