Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday termed as "retrograde" the Supreme Court verdict that upheld a law criminalising homosexuality and wondered why it is a crime if two consenting men and two consenting women share physical relations.
"Personally, I think it is a retrograde judgement and it has done no justice to a modern liberal India. If two consenting men and two consenting women...why should be illegal," Ramesh said reacting to the apex court verdict.
"It is choice issue, personal choice. It is a liberal society, a modern society, a society that gives choice to individuals," the Rural Development Minister said.
His statement came as the government indicated that it would take the legislative route to deal with the issue.
The apex court in its verdict put the ball in Parliament's court to decide on the desirability of deleting the relevant section from Indian Penal Code.
Ramesh said he supported the Delhi High Court's verdict which had in 2009 decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults in private.
"I thought A P Shah was on the right track," he said.
A two-member bench of the High Court comprising Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar had decriminalised gay sex as provided in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and had ruled that sex between two consenting adults in private would not be an offence.