Astrologer appellant ‘saw it in cards’

Baba Ramdev called a press conference hours after the verdict to announce.

Written by D K RITURAJ | New Delhi | Published: December 12, 2013 1:13:54 am

As gay rights activists gathered at the Supreme Court,anticipating a day of deliverance,the lead appellant against their cause walked in at 10.30 am and walked out a minute later,their deliverance in his pocket. “It was all in the cards,” said Pandit Suresh Kumar Koushal,also an astrologer.

“This is the first time I have approached the courts… I did it because I felt the country and our society was moving in the wrong direction,” Koushal said before TV cameras and next to shocked LGBT activists. Citing his experience as an astrologer,Koushal said that the July 2009 Delhi High Court verdict reading down section 377 IPC would have let loose a dystopian society where nature would be openly defied and “repeats of 16 December would occur for men”.

“I don’t hate the LGBT people,” he said,“but they are wrong… They should change their orientation….it is possible… if Sachin Tendulkar can change from the left hand to the right while playing cricket… why can’t people these people change their preferences in the interest of our country?”

Baba Ramdev called a press conference hours after the verdict to announce that he could prescribe remedies that would “cure irregular sexuality issues”. His spokesperson,S K Tijarawala,another petitioner in the case,is convinced that being gay or a transexual is a mental disease that can be cured. “Just to preserve the sexual choice of a few,we cannot overrule the civic fabric of our society… If these people do not want to change,let them leave India,” Tijarawala said.

Lawyers of the appellants say the arguments put forth by the Naz Foundation do not hold for what they seek as fundamental rights under the Constitution. “Fundamental rights of the Constitution may guarantee life,privacy and dignity… but all this does not include sexual preferences,” said Ajay Kumar,Tijarawala’s lawyer.

Ezaz Maqbool,a lawyer representing the All India Muslim Personal Law Board,said Hindu,Muslim and Christian religious groups were united in holding that homosexuality was against their basic religious tenets. “The law is based on the religious ethos of the people….We cannot follow everything the West does blindly…The verdict is a major victory for Indian culture and religion,” Maqbool said.

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