Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Thursday suggested that the Supreme Court verdict on decriminalisation of gay sex may not be implemented in the Army. Addressing his annual press conference in New Delhi, Gen Rawat said such actions are forbidden in the Army and that they won’t ‘allow’ it to happen. “We will not allow this to happen in the Army,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
At the same time, he added that the Army is not above the law. The Army chief said issues concerning the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) within the forces will be dealt with under various sections of the Army Act, he was quoted as saying by ANI.
— ANI (@ANI) January 10, 2019
Last September in what could be called as a historic move, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court had unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the rights to equality.
When asked about the court ruling on adultery, Rawat said the Army is conservative. “We can’t allow it to perpetuate into the Army,” the Army chief said.
Last year, the Supreme Court had struck down a colonial-era anti-adultery law, saying it was unconstitutional, dented the individuality of women and treated them as “chattel of husbands”.
Meanwhile, Rawat also clarified on the comments he had made earlier about holding negotiations without conditions with the Taliban saying that India cannot be left out if other countries are pursuing peace talks with the Afghanistan government, as India has ‘interests’ in that country.
He said that, however, the same analogy cannot be applied in Jammu and Kashmir as the government has rejected unconditional talks with the stakeholders, including separatists and militants, adding that talks in the Valley ‘will be on our terms’.