New Delhi, July 11: As the Supreme Court proceeded the hearing on pleas seeking scrapping of Section 377 on Wednesday, there was some clarity in the Centre’s stand on the issue. Arguing for the Centre, ASG Tushar Mehta said, “We leave the validity of Section 377, so far as it relates to consensual acts between two adults, to the wisdom of the Court.” Also Read - Central Vista Project: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Halting Construction Work, Asks High Court to Pass Order
Asking the five-judge bench to keep incest out of deliberations and seeking clarification on bestiality, Mehta said the Centre would leave the matter of the constitutionality of Section 377 to the court. Adding that issues like gay marriages, property and inheritance rights will have repercussions, Mehta urged the apex court not to deal with them at the moment. Also Read - Centre Has To Supply 700 Metric Tonnes Of Oxygen To Delhi Everyday Till Further Orders, Says Supreme Court
The Supreme Court said it would restrict itself to whether Section 377 was unconstitutional with regard to consensual sex between two adults. Also Read - You Will Have to Give 700 Tonnes Oxygen to Delhi Every Day: Supreme Court to Centre
Arguing for IIT students, one of the petitioners, Menaka Guruswamy said Section 377 discriminates on the basis of the gender of the partner. She also quoted a notification by the Indian Psychiatry Society that said homosexuality was not a psychiatric disorder. She said, “Homosexuality doesn’t affect a person’s career and growth. People have cleared civil service examinations, IIT examinations, and other top-level competitive exams.” She said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people also deserve to be protected by the court, Constitution, and the country. “Section 377 denies the LGBT community the equal opportunity of participation,” she added.