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Section 377: Centre accepts HC verdict,but cautious

Although the government said it accepted the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising homosexuality,it did not defend it.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 22, 2012 3:49 am

Although the government said it accepted the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising homosexuality,it did not defend it.

Appearing for the government before the Supreme Court,Attorney General G E Vahanvati said a recommendation by a Group of Ministers comprising Health,Home and Law ministers had met after the HC verdict and found no “legal error” in the decision. The GoM’s finding was later accepted by the Cabinet,he said.

Vahanvati said the GoM had agreed to “accept the correctness” of the HC judgment as it expanded Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and dignity).

However,the AG asserted that the fact that government was accepting the verdict did not mean it wanted the court to agree with its view. This showed that though it found no legal error,the government was not prepared to defend decriminalisation of homosexuality,and instead,opted to sit on the fence in the SC.

The SC had snubbed the government’s “neutral” position. This when both the Home and Health ministries had strongly objected to decriminalisation in the HC.

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