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Govt considering repeal of IPC section on homosexuality

Signalling a major shift in its once-unyielding stand, the government for the first time has indicated it is willing to review a controversial 150-year-old law that makes homosexuality a criminal offence. A meeting will be convened soon for evolving a consensus on repealing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2009 09:45 PM IST

The Centre is considering repealing a controversial section of the penal law which criminalises homosexuality.

A meeting will be convened soon for evolving a consensus on repealing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, official sources said.

The meeting to be chaired by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram will discuss the controversial section of the IPC which bans sexual relationships among people of the same gender, official sources added.

While Chidambaram and Law Minister Veerappa Moily are understood to be in favour of repealing the provision of the IPC, the response of Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is awaited.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked the ministries of Home and Health to resolve the differences over the issues and give a comprehensive response to the Delhi High Court, which is hearing a petition challenging arrests under the law.

Former home minister Shivraj Patil and former health minister Anbumani Ramadoss had taken divergent stand on the issue before the court.

Terming the matter as “serious”, the High Court had directed the Government to sort out the matter at the earliest.

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