The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided not to contest if the Supreme Court scraps Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality. The board has also decided to no longer be part of the court hearings in the matter that resume Tuesday.
Speaking to the indianexpress.com on Friday, AIMPLB member and senior advocate Yusuf Muchhala said: “We are not going to appear in the matter leaving it to the court to decide.”
Muchhala added: “Whether section 377 is unconstitutional or not should be read down by the court so that the people indulging into same-sex relationships are not criminalised. Let it be clear that it is only on the decriminalisation issue that we are not participating, and not beyond that, let the court decide (on it), whichever way it goes.”
The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging Section 377 while also reviewing its earlier verdict banning the IPC section.
The Centre has already withdrawn from the court proceedings, saying it leaves the decision to “the wisdom of the court”. Its affidavit filed before the constitution Bench reserved its right to object to anything “other than” Section 377 if it were to be considered during the course of adjudication.
The AIMPLB has earlier voiced opposition when the Delhi High Court had struck down Section 377 in 2009.