Govt says Gay rights are bad in law

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) Delhi High Court today defered hearing in the case relating to the argument for granting legality to homosexuality.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar fixed September 29 as the next date for hearing the Central Government's stand on decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra appearing for the Centre today argued in the court that section 377 of IPC (unnatural sex) is a criminal offence in the legal term and ''We cannot legalise an offence.'' Justice Shah inquired ,"How can it be an offence if two consenting adults in a closed room are having sex,it is their private affair, why we cannot give them the liberty to do so?" To this Mr P P Malhotra replied "My lord, an offence will remain an offence in a closed door." Earlier the High Court had taken a tough stand and asked the Centre to reply soon in the matter.

The tough stand of the HC assumes significance as the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health have taken a conflicting stand on the issue with the Home Ministry favouring retention of penal provisions which make homosexual acts a criminal offence. The Health Ministry has favoured scrapping the penal provision.

"We fixed the date for this case two months ago. We must have respect for the sanctity of dates," the bench said at the last date when the government sought more time to respond to a PIL seeking to decriminalise homosexual acts between consenting adults in private.

UNI SNG MIR HT1920

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