MPs voice reservation on SC verdict on homosexuality

Gay SexSC set aside Delhi HC's 2009 judgment, terms gay sex a punishable offence. (AP)

Cutting across party lines, legislators on Wednesday voiced reservation on the Supreme Court judgement making gay sex a criminal offence.

"I am not in agreement with the Supreme Court decision. The HC court decision was a well thought and scientific one. The apex court can reverse lower court decision but I do not think this decision is a better one," JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari said outside Parliament.

Terming the judgement as "disappointment", TMC MP Derek O'Brien said, "We are living today in a liberal world and the judgement is disappointing. Earlier in 2006, there was a letter written and signed by Amartya Sen, Vikram Seth, Shyam Benegal and myself among others on it. Because sometime the court does very interesting views on red lights, I think it does same thing on gay rights."

CPM MP Sitaram Yechury said, "It is now a legal matter in the sense that the Supreme Court has overturned the HC ruling and on that basis it has made certain observation. Those observations involve the invoking of the executive's responsibility in law making in order to resolve the conflict.

"Since the judiciary has sought the executive's involvement, the executive have to properly study what the judgement is all about."

In a blow to gay rights activists, the Supreme Court today upheld the constitutional validity of the penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with up to life imprisonment.

Union Minister Salman Khurshid said the apex court would

have taken into account the overall conditions prevailing in

the country.

"I would imagine anything the Supreme Court says is the law of the land. I have not read the judgement. If the SC says the legislature should do something, the legislature should do something. When a legislature does something, it takes into account a whole host of circumstances.

... contd.

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