Within nine days of the Supreme Court judgment upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, according to which homosexuality or unnatural sex between two consenting adults is illegal and an offence, the Centre moved the apex court on Friday seeking a review of its ruling.
In its review petition the Centre said: “The judgment suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record, and is contrary to well-established principles of law laid down by the apex Court enunciating the width and ambit of Fundamental Rights under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.” The IPC, when enacted in 1860, was justified; but with the passage of time it had become arbitrary and unreasonable, the petition added.
“It is the submission of the Union of India that Section 377 IPC, insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts in private, falls foul of the principles of equality and liberty enshrined in our Constitution. Further, Section 377 which criminalises intercourse ‘against the order of nature’ is a reflection of outdated sodomy laws of the United Kingdom which were transplanted into India in 1860. They do not have any legal sanctity and in any case are unlawful in view of the Constitutional mandate of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.”
A Supreme Court Bench had on December 11 set aside the Delhi High Court’s verdict decriminalising homosexuality, stating that Section 377 IPC did not suffer from any constitutional infirmity.