Last edited: February 14, 2005

Govt Seeks Time to Reply on PIL Making Gay Relation Legal PTI

Hindustan Times (India), April 23, 2002

New Delhi—Government on Tuesday sought more time in Delhi High Court to file reply on a petition seeking legislation of homosexuality between consenting adults and consequent amendment to Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which makes such a relationship a criminal offence.

"We (Centre) are not only examining the legal issue but also the social and ethical issues connected with it," Government counsel told a Bench comprising Justice Devinder Gupta and Justice S Mukherjee and sought six weeks time to file reply on the issue.

The Bench, however, dismissed a petition by a Kannur-based social organisation Joint Action Council (JAC), which has opposed the petition saying that the court was not the right forum to decide the issue.

But the Court granted liberty to JAC to become intervener petitioner in the issue and fixed August 26 as next date of hearing.

The Court which had taken cognizance of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in December last had issued notice to the Union Government, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Delhi Government, Delhi Police Commissioner and National AIDS Council, asking them to file their replies.

The court during the last hearing in January had sought assistance of Attorney General on the issue stating that Constitutional validity of Section 377 of the IPC has been challenged by the petitioner.

Additional Solicitor General Mukul Rohtagi appeared for the Centre and National AIDS council.

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