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At long last, the Central government has clarified its stance on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. On the second day of the hearing of the petitions challenging the provision, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta revealed that the Centre will not contest the challenge to Section 377.
The affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court today states,
“…so far as the constitutional validity Section 377 to the extent it applies to “consensual acts of adults in private” is concerned, the Union of India would leave the said question to the wisdom of this Hon’ble Court…
…in the event this Hon’ble Court is pleased to declare Section 377 viz. “consensual acts of adults in private”, to be unconstitutional, no other issue/issues and/or rights are referred for consideration and adjudication and therefore, may not be gone into.”
However, the Centre revealed that should the Court delve into issues other than those specified above, it will file a detailed affidavit with respect to those issues.
“In the most respectful submission of the Union of India, allowing any other issue (other than constitutional validity of Section 377) to be argued and adjudicating the same without giving an opportunity to the Union of India to file a counter affidavit to the Union of India may not be in the interest of justice and would be violative of principles of natural justice.”
The hearings in the challenge to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code continued today in the Supreme Court for the second successive day.
The matter is being heard by a Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
Live updates follow:
Here is a brief summary of the arguments made yesterday:
Read the Centre’s affidavit in the matter:
Read the written submissions by advocate Menaka Guruswamy
Read the written submissions by Senior Advocate Shyam Divan