New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre for its ‘casual’ approach on the issue of decriminalization of homosexuality saying the government has adopted a ‘neutral’ stand over the issue which is ‘condemnable’.

Hearing the case, a division bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhyay said that they are unaware that on how many issues government adopt similar stand but on this important issue, the latter’s stand is not ‘right’.

“Government contested this matter in the High Court but taking neutral stand in the Supreme Court. We really don’t know which of its stands should be accepted.” the bench observed. 

The apex Court made these above observations after going through government’s various affidavits related to the case. It has also expressed concern that despite law commission’s report recommending amendment of Section 377 (Unnatural sex) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the parliament has not considered the commission’s report.

“The parliament has no time to consider these issues like amending section 377. How long the people will wait.” the bench observed. 

As per Section 377 of the IPC, the gay sex is a criminal offence entailing punishment up to rigorous life imprisonment.

Notably, the top Court has been hearing the case related to the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Delhi High Court had earlier ruled that sex between two consenting adults of same sex in private would not be an offence.

Various social and religious organisations challenged the HC judgment in the Supreme Court.

However, the Centre did not file any petition pertaining to the case but objected Naj foundation’s petition supporting gay sex in High Court terming section 377 of the IPC as ‘constitutional’.

JPN/Bureau