‘Government exploring ways to restore HC ruling on homosexuality’
New Delhi – The government is considering all options before it in an attempt to restore the 2009 Delhi High Court verdict decriminalising homosexuality, union Law Minister Kapil Sibal said in a tweet Thursday.
“The government is considering all options to restore the high court verdict on Article 377 (of the Indian Penal Code). We must decriminalise adult consensual relationships,” tweeted Sibal.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also said that he was very disappointed with the views expressed by the Supreme Court on homosexuality.
The Supreme Court Wednesday set aside the Delhi High Court verdict and said that consensual sex between two adults of the same gender is an offence.
Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which dates back to the time of British rule in India, punishes “carnal intercourse against the orde! r of nature”.
“My party’s position was reflected by the government when we instructed the Attorney General to tell the Supreme Court that the government is not appealing against the High Court judgment and we support the judgment. My government’s views and the party views are quite clear, we accept the interpretation put forward by the HC,” Chidambaram said.
He also added that the case should have been heard by a five-judge bench.
The decision pertaining to a major constitutional issue about the rights for which lesbians, gay people, bisexuals and transgenders have fought for long, was taken by a two-judge bench.
Chidambaram said it was not too late to ask the court to reconsider the decision through a curative petition.
“If the court option goes, then legislative option always remains. But I don’t think that this option can be exercised in this session of parliament,” the finance minister said.