HC pulls up Centre for different stands
While the Ministry of Home Affairs has favoured retention of penal provisions which make a homosexual act a criminal offence, the health ministry is in favour of scrapping the penal provision.india Updated: Sep 26, 2008 15:35 IST
The Delhi High Court today pulled up the Centre for speaking in two voices on the homosexuality law.
"Two affidavits have been filed by the two ministries (Home and Health). The two ministries are speaking in two voices. What is the stand of government? Are you clear about the stand the central government is taking on the issue," a Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and S Muralidhar said.
The court's remarks came immediately after Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra stood up to argue on behalf of the Centre.
The Court was hearing a PIL filed by gay rights activists seeking its direction to decriminalise homosexual acts among consenting adults by amending Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, which entails punishment upto life imprisonment for the offence.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health have taken a contradictory stand on the issue with the former favouring retention of penal provisions which make a homosexual act a criminal offence. The health ministry, on the other hand, is in favour of scrapping the penal provision.