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Indian govt to take legislative route on gay sex

Publication Date : 12-12-2013

 

As rights activists and other dissenters cried foul over the Indian Supreme Court pronouncing gay sex as illegal, the government today 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.”

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,” Tewari said.

However, any legislative bid to amend Section 377 to decriminalise same-gender sex is unlikely to be possible during the remaining five-month tenure of the UPA government. 

The current winter session of Parliament, paralysed so far due to the opposition's stonewalling of its proceedings on various issues, is to end on December 20 and the next session will be convened merely to pass the vote-on-account in the run-up to the 2014 general elections expected to be held in April-May.

And, more significantly, given that the gay sex issue remains a taboo for sections within most political parties, the beleaguered UPA government would find it virtually impossible to work out a political consensus on the issue.


 

 

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