Verdict today: Will it be happy and gay? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Verdict today: Will it be happy and gay?

The much-awaited verdict on the eight-year-old public interest litigation (PIL) seeking decriminalization of homosexuality would finally be delivered by the Delhi High Court today. It is likely to discuss either completely repealing or amending section 377 of the IPC, which has the provision for up to life imprisonment for indulging in unnatural sex. Harish V Nair reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 02, 2009 21:25 IST
Harish V Nair

The much-awaited verdict on the eight-year-old public interest litigation (PIL) seeking decriminalization of homosexuality would finally be delivered by the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

The court would deliver its judgment at a time when the UPA government in its second term seems prepared to take a relook at the 19th century colonial law that treats homosexual activity as a crime.

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the Prime Minister has asked the home ministry, law Ministry and the health ministry to hold a meeting in this regard.

It is likely to discuss either completely repealing or amending section 377 of the IPC, which has the provision for up to life imprisonment for indulging in unnatural sex.

Questioned why the home ministry had opposed decriminalization on grounds of morality, Chidambaram said: “Now there are new ministers who have been asked to bring new thinking to the subject”.

During a hearing in November, the court had slammed the Centre for relying on views of religious books and scholars to justify prohibition on gay sex.

Naz foundation, an NGO, had contended that penal action severely impeded intervention under the National AIDS Control Programme as homosexuals did not come out in the open fearing law enforcement agencies.

The health ministry, acting through National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), had supported legalisation of gay sex.