Amend Section 377 immediately: MP minister charged with sodomy

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 12 Desember 2013 | 07.20

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh's former finance minister Raghavji, who was arrested after being accused of sodomy by his domestic help, said on Thursday that there is an immediate need to decriminalize homosexuality.

Raghavji, who was sacked from BJP after being charged under Section 377, told TOI that "there's an urgent need to amendment the Act."

"Section 377 is academically illogical and should be amended. I am not suggesting an amendment pertaining to my case in court, but in general I feel this is a 150-year-old act of the British era which should be revised," Raghavji told TOI.

Retired Supreme Court Justice and MP Lokayukta PP Naolekar said, "Yes it is true there is no constitutional infirmity in this particular section of IPC, but appropriate changes can only be made by Parliament."

A two-bench of Justice Naolekar and Y K Sabharwal had sent Naz Foundation's petition back to Delhi high court with directives to consider the case on merit in 2006, during his tenure in the Supreme Court.

"As far as what I have read in newspapers, I do agree with the apex court's order. Unless I read it in detail I cannot comment further," he told TOI.

Senior lawyers in MP have different opinions on the recent SC order.

"Supreme Court cannot legislate. It's on Parliament to decide," says Surendra Singh, senior criminal lawyer based at Jabalpur.

Similarly, Ragvendra Kumar, human rights lawyer based at Jabalpur said, "while this may be a legally correct judgment, Supreme Court has not taken into account violations of human rights of gays."

Justice A K Saxena, acting chairman of Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) refused to comment on the SC order.

Another senior criminal lawyer Mrigendra Singh Baghel says, "This is perfect decision, but Section 377 does not define the offence in totality. So there is a need for amendment. Also there should be a separate clause on consensual and non-consensual sex."

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