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Judge behind HC ruling disappointed

Law Commission,which Shah now heads,which had in 2000 first recommended deletion of Section 377.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published: December 12, 2013 1:05 am

Former Delhi High Court chief justice Ajit Prakash Shah,who authored the judgment that decriminalised consensual sexual acts of adults in private,today said the Supreme Court judgment on Section 377 was disappointing.

“I have not read the judgment so I can’t comment on what it says. But,from whatever I have come to know,I think it is disappointing,” Shah told The Indian Express over the phone from Geneva,where he has gone to attend an international conference.

“We (Delhi HC bench) had gone into the issue of constitutionality of the provision and dealt with it. How can there be discrimination against somebody on the basis of his or her sexual orientation?” Shah said,in response to a question.

The bench headed by Shah had held that any provision of law branding one section of people criminal based wholly on the state’s moral disapproval of that class ran counter to the equality guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

Incidentally,it was the Law Commission,which Shah now heads,which had in 2000 first recommended deletion of Section 377.

Asked if there was a real possibility of Parliament considering the “desirability and propriety” of deleting or amending Section 377,Shah said there wasn’t. “In this fractured polity,I think it would be very difficult. But,let us see,” he said.

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