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SC order on Section 377 keeps our culture intact, says petitioner

Dec 11, 2013 12:55 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: The religious groups who had challenged the Delhi High Court order on Section 377 in the Supreme Court have welcomed the apex court's setting aside of the HC verdict. They say the Supreme Court's order respects all religions.

"The SC having overturned the Delhi HC order on gay sex has been done to keep our culture intact. This has been done to respect all religions," said Zafaryab Jilani, member of All India Muslim Personal Board, one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has set aside the Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality and had struck down Section 377. While setting aside the 2009 Delhi High Court order, the apex court observed that Section 377 is a valid constitutional provision.

There is no constitutional infirmity in Section 377 of IPC which makes gay sex an offence punishable with up to life imprisonment, said a bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya while overruling the High Court verdict. However, the court said that the appropriate changes in Section 377 can be made through legislation and Parliament must take a decision on the controversial issue and that the judiciary has no role in it.

While allowing the appeals filed by various social and religious organisations challenging the High Court verdict on the ground that gay sex is against the cultural and religious values of the country the bench said Parliament is authorised to delete section 377 of IPC but till the time this penal provision is there, the court cannot legalise this kind of sexual relationship.

Religious organisations like All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Utkal Christian Council and Apostolic Churches Alliance too have challenged the judgment. The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Right, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munn Kazhgam, astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal and yoga guru Ramdev have also opposed the verdict.

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