Advocate’s talk had ‘no significant risk of sub judice’: Shanmugam | The New Paper

Advocate’s talk had ‘no significant risk of sub judice’: Shanmugam

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There is no significant risk of sub judice with a talk here on India's repeal of Section 377, a law which criminalises consensual sex between people of the same sex, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said.

The talk at Yale-NUS College yesterday was by Dr Menaka Guruswamy, a senior advocate at India's Supreme Court and one of the lawyers who won a legal battle to strike down the colonial-era law in India.

Mr Shanmugam said in a Facebook post that there had been objections to the talk from the public, with concerns that it could be sub judice.

Sub judice, which is a form of contempt of court, refers to actions that can unduly influence court proceedings.

This is because legal challenges to Singapore's version of the law, Section 377A, which applies only to men, are about to be heard in court here. The first hearing will take place tomorrow. But Mr Shanmugam said: "I don't see a significant risk of sub judice."

Explaining why, he said: "One may agree or disagree with (Dr Guruswamy's) views, but I am sure she knows about rules relating to sub judice, and I don't see an objection to her speaking about the law, and what happened in the Indian Supreme Court, where their Section 377 was successfully challenged."

Several people wrote to Mr Shanmugam, objecting to Dr Guruswamy's talk, the minister said. There was also a petition asking the Government to stop her talk, referring to an online petition that garnered 10,500 signatures in two days, as of 11pm yesterday. - THE STRAITS TIMES