BJP leader Subramanian Swamy
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

Govt affidavit solely about privacy: Swamy on Section 377

ANI | Updated: Jul 12, 2018 16:45 IST

New Delhi [India], July 12 (ANI): A day after the Centre put the onus on Supreme Court to decide on the constitutionality of Section 377, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy clarified that the government wanted the court to only decide if homosexual activities in private would be considered criminal or not.
Speaking to ANI, Swamy said that the government's stand on homosexuality was tougher than his and that while he respected the right to privacy, the government left it to the top court to decide.
"The government's affidavit stated that the court was to decide whether homosexual activity in private is a criminal act or not. The government's stand is harder than my stand, I said clearly on privacy, no question. Right to Privacy is protected. But they (the government) are saying the court should now decide," Swamy told ANI.
He also said that it was the government's view that homosexuality was an "unnatural act" and a genetic flaw.
"It is a handicap, for which people should not be discriminated against, but at the same time you can't celebrate it," Swamy said.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Swamy had stated that homosexuality was a danger to national security and that if the Supreme Court ruled it to be normal and a free choice, the government should constitute a seven-judge or a nine-judge bench to review it.
In May, the apex court decided to hear the plea filed by the Indian Institute of Technology's LGBT alumni association, seeking to scrap Section 377, that criminalises homosexuality.
In 2009, the Delhi High Court had decriminalised Section 377, but the order was later overturned by a Supreme-Court bench in 2013.
Categorised as an unnatural offence, consensual intercourse between persons of same-sex is termed 'against the order of nature' under Section 377, and can be punishable by life imprisonment.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that individual privacy is a fundamental right that cannot be denied "even if a minuscule fraction of population is affected". "Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation... Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone."
Meanwhile, the court has adjourned hearing the matter till Tuesday (July 17). (ANI)