BJP mum on SC verdict on Section 377

BJP mum on SC verdict on Section 377

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. PTI file photo

Although 24 hours have passed since the Supreme Court of  India delivered the historic judgement on decriminalising homosexuality in the country and scrapping those provisions from Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code, the ruling party has chosen to remain tight-lipped on the verdict.

Despite reactions from their two Rajya Sabha MPs and the statement of RSS,  its ideological mentor, there is no comment available on the public domain from the BJP.

Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, who is known for his pro-Section 377 stands, expressed his disappointment by reinstating homosexuality as a "genetic disorder, like someone having six fingers." Another BJP MP from Bengaluru, however, said, "Thursday's judgment by the apex court against Section 377 is a step towards accepting the people for what they are."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted within minutes after the triple talaq verdict on August 22, 2017, hasn't responded to Thursday's judgement. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Home Minister Rajnath Singh continue to remain silent. 

Interestingly, pro-right wing journalist Jagrati Shukla 'reminded' her Twitter followers that the verdict has come during Modi government. "#Section377 has been struck down. No Adult Consensual Sexual Act including Homosexuality, is an offense now. #LGBT community Liberated. Always remember, this happened under a BJP Govt, PM Modi and CJI Dipak Misra, (sic)" she Tweeted.

BJP has taken an unclear stand so far on homosexuality. Though RSS welcomed the verdict while adding that they won't support same-sex marriages, BJP had categorically stated earlier that they will never support homosexuality. Speaking to The Telegraph India in 2013 December, Rajnath Singh said, “We will state (at an all-party meeting if it is called) that we support Section 377 because we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act and cannot be supported.”

In March 2015, India under the Narendra Modi government had voted in support of a Russian-drafted resolution opposing benefits for same-sex partners of UN staff along with China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The government, in the latest proceedings in Supreme Court leading to Thursday's verdict, took no stand in support of homosexuality. Instead, they left it to the 'wisdom' of SC. "So far as the constitutional validity of Section 377 to the extent it applies to ‘consensual acts of adults in private’ is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court," reads their affidavit in the court.

Earlier, current UP CM and the then Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath had said that he would oppose the move to scrap Section 377. However, senior party leaders like Arun Jaitley and Prakash Javadekar have supported the cause explicitly at times, reports The Print

ALSO READ: We expected categorical position from govt, says SC
To view the detailed coverage of Deccan Herald on Section 377 verdict, click here.

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