New Delhi, Dec 19 (PTI) Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said "consensus" after a detailed debate was required to take any decision regarding Section 377 of IPC, which criminalises homosexuality.
He was replying to a debate on two bills passed by the Lok Sabha to repeal obsolete laws and a demand by BJD MP Pinaki Misra to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Misra said the Supreme Court has repeatedly said that it is up to Parliament to take any decision on this "archaic" law.
"The 2012 judgement, by which the Delhi High Court in a very bold move struck down (IPC section) 377, was set aside by the Supreme Court in the 2013 judgement on the grounds that it is the job of the legislature to do away with it, and it is not the job of the court to legislate," Misra said.
The BJD MP was referring to the apex court setting aside the Delhi High Court verdict which had decriminalised sex between two consenting adults of different sexual orientation.
The lesbian gay bisexual transgender (LGBT) community has been demanding scrapping of Section 377 of the IPC, under which consensual sexual acts between members of the same sex are an offence entailing punishment up to life term.
"You must give succour to crores of people. Now the number is not in lakhs. The number is in crores," Misra said.
Responding to Misra's demand, the Law Minister said the issue "needs to have a proper consensus" before arriving on any conclusion.
Last year, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor brought the Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill seeking changes in Section 377 of IPC (unnatural offence) but it was defeated in the Lok Sabha.