News from Section 377 Arguments before the Supreme Court

MHA affidavit in SC supports decriminalisation of gay sex

The Union Home Ministry has filed a formal affidavit in the Supreme Court, coming in support of decriminalisation of gay sex among consenting adults saying the decision was taken as early as July 2009 by a GoM comprising Union ministers of Home, Law and Family Welfare.

The affidavit comes in the backdrop of the rebuke of the Centre by the apex court on February 28 and earlier hearing for taking contrary stance on the issue.

On February 28, a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya told Additional Solicitor General Mohan Jain not to make "mockery" of the system by adopting contradicting stance on the issue after the counsel submitted that there is "no legal error" in the Delhi High Court verdict, which had decriminalised gay sex in 2009.

The stand taken by Jain, appearing for the Union Health Ministry, was contrary to the argument by Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra, who had opposed decriminalisation of gay sex on behalf of the Home Ministry.

In an affidavit filed by Union Home Secretary R K Singh it was submitted that the GoM in their meeting held on July 28, 2009 recommended to the Cabinet that the following view may be submitted by the Government before the Supreme Court.

"The high court has not struck down the entire Section 377 IPC. The high court has interpreted Section 377 IPC and read down this section so that the section is consistent with Articles 14, I 5 and 2 I of the Constitution.

"The correctness of the judgment has been questioned in an appeal before the Supreme Court.

SC pulls up Centre for shifting stand on homosexuality

The central government on Tuesday changed its stand on homosexuality issue in the Supreme Court, saying there is no error in decriminalising gay sex.

The SC pulled up the central government for shifting its stand on homosexuality.

"Don't make mockery of the system and don't waste court's time," the Supreme Court told the Union government.

The Centre suffered a huge embarrassment in the Supreme Court on Feb 23 when its counsel termed homosexuality as immoral, disregarding the decision of the Union Cabinet not to oppose the Delhi high court's verdict on Section 377 of Indian Penal Code decriminalizing consensual sex among gay adults.

Appearing in the hearing on a petition challenging the HC order which decriminalized Section 377 and was celebrated as a major triumph by gay activists and liberal advocacy groups, additional solicitor general P. P. Malhotra launched into a sharp attack on homosexuality, calling it immoral.