Section 377: Centre will not contest petitions, leaves decision to wisdom of Supreme Court

Putting the onus on the Supreme Court to decide the matter of the constitutionality of Section377 of the IPC, the Centre on Wednesday said that it will not contest the petitions challenging the law which criminalises consensual gay sex between two adults.

In an affidavit submitted in the apex court, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the Centre has decided to leave the issue to the wisdom of the Court.

"We leave the validity of Section 377, so far as it relates to consensual acts between two adults, to the wisdom of Court," Centre told the top court.

Mehta, however, requested the apex court to not decide on the corollary rights of the LGBTQ community, such as those related to their marriage, property and inheritance rights saying it will have many repercussions.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Wednesday began hearing a clutch of petitions challenging a 158-year-old colonial-era law that criminalises gay sex. The bench comprises Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra besides the CJI.

During the hearing today, the bench said it will restrict itself to whether Sec 377 is unconstitutional with regard to consensual sex between two adults.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature wi...

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