Indian Government will appeal Section 377 decision rather than repeal it

The Indian Government has confirmed that it will not seek to pass a law repealing India’s Section 377 anti-sodomy law until all avenues for appeal through the courts are exhausted – something that could take months.

Indian Government will appeal Section 377 decision rather than repeal it
19 December 2013

India’s Law Minister Kapil Sibal has confirmed that his government will seek a judicial review of the Supreme Court’s verdict that the country’s ban on gay sex is constitutional.

On 11 December two of India’s Supreme Court justices cancelled the repeal of Section 377 of India’s Penal Code – effectively re-criminalizing homosexuality in the South Asian nation.

Sibal had initially indicated his government might pass a bill to repeal Section 377 but he has now confirmed the government plans to take the far more time consuming path of having the two justices’ decision reviewed by five Supreme Court justices.

One of the justices that ruled in favor of Section 377 being retained has already retired but it remains unknown how the other judges on the Supreme Court might lean.

Sibal says the government will not consider any legislative initiatives decriminalizing homosexuality until the judicial review is completed – which could potentially take months.

The main opposition Hindu-nationalist BJP party have come out strongly against the idea of repealing Section 377 and Indians go to the polls for general elections in five months.

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