The Supreme Court on July 11 will resume hearing multiple pleas in favour of decriminalising Section 377 of IPC at around 2 pm. “Let court decide, leave decision to wisdom of court,” is the Centre’s view to the SC via additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who is appearing for the Centre.
The affidavit was submitted in the Supreme Court during an ongoing hearing on petitions filed against the court’s 2013 ruling that in effect re-criminalised homosexuality.
The Centre made these comments in an affidavit filed by Mehta. The Centre also urged the SC not to deal with issues such as gay marriages and property and inheritance rights as these are matters that can have many repercussions.
An affidavit submitted in court on July 11 declaring the government’s stand on the issue read, if the court declares “Section 377 viz. ‘consensual acts of adults in private’, to be unconstitutional” the government will not go into any other issue.
“If the court decides to examine any other question other than the constitutional validity of Section 377… or construe any other right in favour of or in respect of LGBTQ”, it would like to file a detailed affidavit, ” government said.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, “We will only decide on the challenge to Section 377 and what civil rights follow, will be decided later”.
Clear signals emerging in favor of decriminalizing section 377.
The court made it evident that it was disinclined to examine wider issues related to gay rights.
Justice Chandrachud says, “The right to privacy and protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the constitution.”
Justice added, “We don’t want a situation where two homosexuals enjoying a walk on Marine Drive should be disturbed by the police and charged under Section 377”.
Advocates Arvind Datar and Saurabh Kirpal argued for not only decriminalisation of section 377 but also a clear enunciation on the right to choose same-sex partners.