Gay sex to be decriminalised? Centre says won’t contest petitions against Section 377, leaves it to ‘wisdom’ of Supreme Court

By: | Updated: July 11, 2018 12:56 PM

Section 377 hearing: The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it will not contest the provision with regard to consensual sex between adults and left it to the wisdom of the top court.

Section 377 verdict, Section 377 hearing, Section 377 news, Section 377 hearing, Section 377 India, Supreme CourtGay sex to be decriminalised? On Section 377, Centre leaves it to the ‘wisdom’ of Supreme Court (Express photo by Partha Paul)

The Narendra Modi-led central government has told the Supreme Court that it will not contest the petitions challenging Section 377 as far as they relate to consensual sex between adults. The Centre has left it to the wisdom of the top court bench which is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the criminalisation of gay sex. The move virtually paves way for decriminalisation of gay sex.

The government has submitted an affidavit in the matter before the Supreme Court. Appearing fir the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the SUpreme COurt that the Centre has decided not to contest the petitions and left it on the “wisdom of the top court” to decide on the constitutional validity of Section 377. He, however, requested the Court not to decide on the corollary rights of the LGBTQ community, such as those related to their marriage.

“I state and submit that so far as the constitutional validity Section 377 to the extent it applies to “consensual acts of adults in private” is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court,” the Centre’s affidavit read.

“…in the event this Hon’ble Court is pleased to declare Section 377 viz. “consensual acts of adults in private”, to be unconstitutional, no other issue/issues and/or rights are referred for consideration and adjudication and therefore, may not be gone into,” it added.

Justice Chandrachud clarified that the Supreme Court was not considering civil rights of homosexual persons, but only examining the need to de-criminalise consensual sex between adults.

The Centre’s submission came on the second day of hearing a clutch of petitions calling for Section 377 of the Indian penal Code to be scrapped at the Supreme Court. The Constitution bench of the top court comprising its senior-most judges had yesterday said that they will only decided on the “correctness” of the 2013 verdict of the top court that overturned a Delhi High Court order that held the law criminalising gay sex as “unconstitutional”.

This story is being updated.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Switch to Hindi Edition