Participants in the 2011 New Delh Pride parade
The Indian government has sought to clarify confusion over its position on the repeal of the law criminalising homosexuality by the Delhi High Court in 2009.
This after a government lawyer last week told the Supreme Court that homosexuality was immoral in an appeals case seeking to reverse the repeal.
“Gay sex is highly immoral and against social order and there is high chance of spreading of diseases through such acts,” Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra, who was representing the Ministry of Home Affairs, was quoted as saying.
The comments were met with outrage by the LGBTI community and human rights groups.
On Tuesday, another Additional Solicitor General, Mohan Jain, this time representing the Health Ministry, contradicted his colleague and said that the government does indeed back the legalisation of homosexuality.
“It’s a government of India decision that there is no legal error in the judgment of the Delhi High Court,” he said.
The Supreme Court slammed the government for wasting its time by giving it contradictory arguments.
Until the Delhi High Court decriminalised homosexuality in 2009, consensual gay sex was illegal in India under Section 377 of the Indian Penal code, with penalties including imprisonment exceeding 10 years and fines.