The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it would leave it to the wisdom of the judges to decide on the constitutional validity of Section 377 on the issue of criminalising consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same gender.
It said that it had no objection with the court dealing with the validity of this penal provision. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said this before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which is hearing a batch of petitions challenging its 2013 verdict that had re-criminalised unnatural intercourse between two consenting adults.
The Apex court said it had made it clear that only the constitutional validity of Section 377 will be dealt with by it.
Section 377 says whoever voluntarily has carnal inter course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
The Top court had in 2013 restored sexual relationship between persons of the same sex as a criminal offence by setting aside the 2009 Delhi High Court judgement that had held as unconstitutional section 377 of the IPC.