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Union Minister Jairam Ramesh today termed as "retrograde" the Supreme Court verdict that upheld a law criminalising homosexuality and same-sex marriage and wondered why it is a crime if two consenting men and two consenting women share physical relations.
"Personally, I think it is a retrograde judgement and it has no justice to a modern liberal India. If two consenting men and two consenting women...why should be illegal," Ramesh said reacting to the apex court verdict.
"It is choice issue...Personal choice...it is a liberal society, a modern society...a society that gives choice to individual...suddenly if it is illegal....?," the Rural Development Minister said.
His statement came as the government today indicated that it will take the legislative route to deal with the issue.
The apex court in its verdict put the ball in Parliament's court to decide on the desirability of deleting the relevant section from Indian Penal Code.
Ramesh said he support the Delhi High Court's verdict which had in 2009 decriminalised gay sex among consenting adults in private.
"I thought A P Shah was on the right track," he said.
A two-member bench of the High Court comprising justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar had decriminalised gay sex as provided in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and had ruled that sex between two consenting adults in private would not be an offence.