Govt clarifies, says it backs gay sex verdict | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt clarifies, says it backs gay sex verdict

A day after being pulled up for its casual approach in the homosexuality case, the government on Wednesday cleared the air saying it supported the Delhi high court verdict decriminalising consensual sex between adults in private.

delhi Updated: Mar 22, 2012 01:24 IST
HT Correspondent

A day after being pulled up for its casual approach in the homosexuality case, the government on Wednesday cleared the air saying it supported the Delhi high court verdict decriminalising consensual sex between adults in private.

Appearing before a bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukopadhyay, Attorney General GE Vahanvati said the cabinet was just not "considering" the 2009 HC verdict but had "accepted it". Therefore, he added, the government did not file any appeal against it nor did it intend to do so.

But, when the bench asked Vahanvati if the court was still required to examine the constitutional validity of section 377 of IPC, the AG said it must.

While holding that consensual sex among adults in private was not a criminal act, the HC had also held that section 377 violated Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

Then, the two ministries, health and home, had taken a diverse stand before the HC. With home ministry first backing the HC verdict, but later changing its stance. On Wednesday, Vahanvati justified the Centre's change in the stand. "No, we took the stand before HC. But, after the judgment we decided not to appeal." He admitted that the change of stand was a "subsequent enlightenment."