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Gays not welcome in Indian army

entertainment Updated: Jul 06, 2009 14:32 IST

Indian law might have thought of amending section 377 of Indian Penal Code, but Indian army is not really welcoming the amendment.

In Indian army homosexuality is considered a serious offence under Section 46 of the Indian Army Act, 1950. It's defined as - certain forms of disgraceful conduct.

Under the Indian military law, any person (soldier) found guilty of "any disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent or unnatural kind" can be punished with imprisonment extending up to seven years if so convicted by a court martial. The provision relates to homosexuality and its presence in the statutes for six decades, if not more, indicates that such behaviour was not alien to the troops.

Senior army officers, who have served in isolated field formations, admit that such "deviant behaviour" was not "very uncommon" but "the context has to be understood". "Izzat (pride) being paramount for a battalion, the offenders are never tried under Section 46. When such instances come to light, the accused is either tried under some other section or simply asked to put in his papers."