'Court view inconsistent with all that young India stands for'

Kapil SibalKapil Sibal expresses his views on the SC judgment upholding the legality of Section 377. (IE Photo)

On his view of the judgment

I am a little disappointed that after the Delhi High Court had taken such a liberal and realistic view in the context of contemporary values and relationships, the Supreme Court has reversed that and upheld the legality of Section 377. This is a law that represents a 19th-century mindset. The world has changed in this 21st century and there are millions of people who, as an expression of their sense of freedom, express themselves in different ways, including sexually, and I think we must respect them for that. Hindu culture is essentially inclusive and liberal; our Constitution embraces liberal values. I don't think the courts should look at such issues any differently.

On the government's changing stands (UPA-I opposed deletion in the high court but UPA-II supported the high court judgment in the Supreme Court

That is not true. Look at the written statements of the Attorney General submitted in court. He has filed elaborate written statements, argued very strongly before the Supreme Court that the judgment of the high court should be upheld and he also cited several judgments of other courts outside of India and suggested to the court that the Government of India's stand in the case is that the high court verdict should be upheld. And, once the high court verdict was there, there was no need for the government to move. In fact, when the matter was discussed in the cabinet, we all believed that we should abide by the judgment of the high court.

On the way forward

We are considering all options, including filing a curative petition or seeking review of the judgment. Time is of the essence and I don't think there should be any delay in this as every day's delay means exposing millions of people to the consequences of Section 377.

... contd.

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