Home » India

19th century mindset behind Supreme Court ruling on gay sex: Kapil Sibal

Thursday, 12 December 2013 - 6:56pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI

Expressing his discontent with the Supreme Court's verdict of describing consensual sex between adults of the same gender as illegal, Union Law and Justice Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday said the mindset behind the decision belonged to the 19th century.

Responding to media queries on the need to bring a change in Article 377, Sibal said, “Yes, definitely there is a need to bring a change in the law, as soon as possible. This is not a law that fits in the 21st century. The mindset behind this decision of the SC belongs to the19th century. This law will affect lakhs of people. There are many people out there who do not want consensual sex to be a criminal offence. We want to decriminalize what is mentioned in Section 377.

“I am disappointed, and, it is unfortunate that the SC has upheld the legality of Section 377. The High Court was right on this issue. Right now, there are several options before the government, and, we are exploring all of them. This government believes in firm and quick action, and, we will do that. We will adopt a policy that will provide relief at the earliest,” he said.

Saying that people should move along with the rest of world, he called for acceptance of such consensual relationships.

“We should not jeopardize these relationships and consider this as a criminal activity. The government stand was clear on this issue and in front of the people and the courts,” he added.

In a major setback for the largely closeted homosexual community in India, the apex court had on Wednesday said gay sex between consenting adults is a criminal offence.

The apex court set aside the Delhi High Court's 2009 judgement that homosexuality should not be treated as a criminal offence, which had been challenged by anti-gay rights activists, social and religious organisations.

The apex court had reserved its order in March last year, after day-to-day hearing in the case lasted an entire month.

The Delhi High Court had in 2009 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.

Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC makes gay sex a criminal offence entailing punishment up to life term.


Jump to comments

Around the web