Section 377 in SC: Centre takes no stand on consensual gay sex

The Centre Wednesday said it would not take a stand on the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises consensual sex between two adults of same sex. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the apex court, “We leave it to the wisdom of the court.” The Home Ministry has filed an affidavit elucidating the government’s stand on the case.

The Centre’s response comes on day two of the Supreme Court’s hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging IPC’s Section 377. A five-judge Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra and comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra are listening to the pleas.

“I state and submit that so far as the constitutional validity Section 377 to the extent it applies to “consensual acts of adults in private” is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court,” the Centre’s affidavit read. CJI Dipak Misra responded, “It means you are not contesting.”

ASG Mehta 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 Centre also prayed that if apex court declares S...

More on indianexpress.com