Gay rights: HC asks Govt to clear air on June 2

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New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today asked Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra to appear before it on June 2 over a law which makes homosexuality illegal in the country and can penalise a person.

A division bench of Justices A K Sikri and J R Midha asked the Government counsel to make clear its stand on June 2.

The affidavit filed by NACO, a division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was against enforcement of Section 377 of the IPC entailing punishment up to life imprisonment for indulging in unnatural sex.

However, the government is divided on the issue. The Home Ministry has told the court that by treating homosexuality as a criminal offence, the government is protecting public health and morals.

But, the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) says that the law has to go for sake of battle against AIDS.

The Indian Penal Code, as we know it today, was formulated by the British way back in 1860. It was then that Section 377 was also introduced. Ironically, the UK government repealed this law in 1967.

The content in the affidavit made the court to remark that homosexuality was not a health hazard. The judges said, "But it seems to be affecting the Home Ministry. So, how come the government is taking such a contradictory stand? If they cannot decide, then we will".

UNI SSS GT RP US1907

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