The Congress today welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to reconsider its 2013 verdict, criminalising gay sex, saying section 377 of the IPC was “archaic” and had no place in the 21st century. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said section 377 should be decriminalised and hoped that the government would repeal it or courts read down the article. “The time has come that either the courts must read down section 377 or the government should repeal it from the Indian Penal Code. It is an archaic provision which has no place in 21st century India,” he told reporters. The Supreme Court today referred to a larger bench a plea seeking decriminalisation of gay sex between two consenting adults. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said the issue arising out of section 377 required to be debated upon by a larger bench.
The section refers to “unnatural offences” and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.