‘We Leave It to Wisdom Of SC’: Centre On Decriminalising Gay Sex

‘We Leave It to Wisdom Of SC’: Centre On Decriminalising Gay Sex
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‘We Leave It to Wisdom Of SC’: Centre On Decriminalising Gay Sex
outlookindia.com
2018-07-11T13:14:42+0530

The Supreme Court can decide the constitutional validity of Section 377, the law that criminalises consensual gay sex, the Centre said on Wednesday.

"We leave to the wisdom of the Court to deal with the validity of Section 377 so far as it relates to consensual sexual acts between two adults," Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told the bench at the outset of the crucial hearing which entered the second day.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which is hearing a batch of petitions challenging its 2013 verdict that had re-criminalised consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same gender, was told by the Centre that it has no objection with the court dealing with the validity of this penal provision.

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The bench, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, said it has already made it clear yesterday that only the constitutional validity of Section 377 will be dealt with by it.

The law officer said that if the right to chose sexual partner is declared a fundamental right, then somebody may come up and say that he or she wanted to marry a sibling, which would be contrary to the laws governing to marriages.

"We are not considering all these issues. One cannot judge these issues in vacuum," the bench said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday started hearing a clutch of petitions challenging a 158-year-old colonial-era law that criminalises gay sex.

Section 377 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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