The government was non-committal on Wednesday on whether it proposes to overturn the Supreme Court judgment by legalising sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex in private through an amendment in the criminal law.
Given the volatile political atmosphere ahead of elections, the government is unlikely to touch the contentious issue immediately. It would refrain from entering into a confrontation with religious groups, a majority of whom are strongly opposed to legalising homosexuality.
Government sources hinted that any move to amend Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is bound to face tough resistance in Parliament from some parties, and building a political consensus at this juncture will be a tough task.
“The legislation will take time since there is no consensus,” said Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
Law minister Kapil Sibal linked it to restoration of normalcy in Parliament.
The government had not challenged the 2009 landmark judgment by the Delhi High Court, which had decriminalised consensual sex between adult homosexuals, and had left it to the Supreme Court to decide, which reversed the high court ruling, and upheld the criminal law provision which declares it a crime.