Govt to take legal route on gay verdict

With the Supreme Court pronouncing gay sex illegal, the Centre on Wednesday indicated that it will take the legislative route to deal with the issue.

“It is the prerogative of the Supreme Court under the Constitution to test the constitutionality of a law. They are exercising their prerogative. We have the prerogative to make laws. We shall exercise our prerogative,” Law Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

Asked how soon will the government bring the matter in Parliament, Sibal said: “Well, if Parliament runs, we shall take it up.”

To a question on 'selective judicial activism' that while the apex court gives verdict on use of red beacons but puts the ball on the issue of gay sex in court of the legislature, he said the Supreme Court is the “final arbiter” on the validity of the law and its opinion must be respected by the government.

“Legislature is the final arbiter of what law should be. I am not going to extend my comment beyond that. I cannot comment on the positions a judge takes in one matter or another matter.”

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the government will definitely take into cognisance the verdict of the Supreme Court.

“As far as the government is concerned, if I recall correctly, in 2009 or 2010 when M Veerappa Moily was the law minister, he had said that section 377 of IPC should be decriminalised. But since a decision has come, the government will take cognisance of it and let you know,” he said. 

Terming the judgment as retrograde, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh wondered why it is a crime if two consenting men and two consenting women share physical relations.

“Personally, I think it is a retrograde judgement and it has no justice to a modern liberal India. If two consenting men and two consenting women... why should be illegal,”Ramesh said reacting to the apex court verdict.

“It is choice issue... Personal choice... it is a liberal society, a modern society... a society that gives choice to individual... suddenly if it is illegal...?,” he said.

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