The Union of India has submitted its affidavit before the Supreme Court on the controversial ‘unnatural sex’ law or Section 377.
In the affidavit, the government has refused to either oppose or recommend the scrapping of the section that criminalizes all kinds of ‘unnatural’ sexual acts.
It said it is leaving it ‘to the wisdom and discretion’ of the Supreme Court to decide whether the section should be struck down or not.
The section criminalizes oral sex, gay sex and other expressions of sexuality.
Section 377 of the IPC says: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
However, the center did make a point that even if homosexuality was made legal, it requested that other forms of ‘abnormal’ sexual preferences, such as having sex with animals and relatives, should not be addressed as part of the current deliberations.
If these practices are also being addressed, the Center said, it would like to intervene separately.
As far as homosexuality is concerned, the center, in effect, said it has no problems if it was made legal.
The Supreme Court had in 2013 overturned a Delhi High Court ruling that read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to effectively decriminalise homosexuality.
The Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling was challenged several curative petitions, which are now being heard by a five-judge Constitution bench led by CJI Dipak Misra.