New Delhi. The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and the Delhi government on a public interest litigation seeking legal sanction to homosexuality.
The litigation sought sanction through a repeal of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) whereby the practice of unnatural sex is a criminal offence and punishable with imprisonment up to 10 years.
Issuing the notice, a division bench comprising Justice Vijender Jain and Justice S.N. Agarwal asked the respondents to file their replies by July 19.
The matter came to the high court from the Supreme Court, which last month asked it to hear the matter afresh.
The petitioner, Naaz Foundation, had approached the Supreme Court following the dismissal of its petition in the high court in February 2004.
The Naaz Foundation is a voluntary organization working among sex workers here to spread AIDS awareness.
Dismissing the petition, a division bench comprising Justice B.C. Patel (since retired) and Justice B.D. Ahmed had said that since no cause of action had arisen, the petition could not be filed just to test the validity of the law.
The union government had also opposed the petition submitting that if the relevant section were deleted, it would open the floodgates for delinquent behavior and be misconstrued as unbridled license for the same.
The organization had sought striking down of the penal provision saying that it was violative of articles, 14, 15 and 21 of the fundamental rights of the constitution.