News Column

Homosexuality Recriminalized in India

December 11, 2013

EFE Ingles

New Delhi, Dec 11 (EFE).- India's Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a 2009 ruling by the Delhi High Court that struck down an 1860 law making gay sex a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The 2009 decision was "constitutionally unsustainable," the Supreme Court found.

The high court ruled four years ago that Article 377 of the Penal Code violated several articles of the Indian Constitution by penalizing consensual sexual acts between adults.

But various Muslim and Christian groups, as well as the Hindu nationalist BJP party, appealed the sentence to the Supreme Court, which said it is up to India's parliament to decide the issue.

The response of activists at the judicial reversal was to be expected.

"We feel very let down," lawyer Anand Grover, who had argued the case on behalf of the advocacy group NAZ Foundation, said of the decision. "But our fight is not over and we will continue to fight for the constitutional right."

"This decision is a body blow to people's rights to equality, privacy and dignity," G. Ananthapadmanabhan, chief executive of Amnesty International India, said.

"It is hard not to feel let down by this judgment, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights," he said. "The government of India has said that it is in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality. Now is the time to act on its word. Parliament must immediately pass legislation to restore the rights and freedoms that have been denied today." EFE


(c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

Source: (c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.