Jaitley bats for gay rights, asks SC to reconsider stand on Article 377

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley came out in support of gay rights, saying that the Supreme Court must reconsider its decision on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

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Speaking at a Literature Festival, finance minister Arun Jaitley criticised the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Delhi high court order de-criminalizing consensual sex among gay adults, reports the Times of India.

The Apex Court’s view was out of sync with the jurisprudential development on gay rights world over, he added.

Continuing his criticism of the quashing the NJAC Act, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said doctrine of basic structure, including elected government and parliament’s sovereignty, cannot be “dismantled” to save only independence of judiciary and favoured reconsideration of the verdict.

“Of course, I have been vocal in my comments about recent judgement on the NJAC. I think at some stage in future, we need to reconsider it. When the law says that the President shall appoint (judges) in consultation with the Chief Justice, to say that this law actually means that the Chief Justice will appoint virtually without consulting anyone, is the opposite of what the Constitution says.

“And to base it on a logic that an institution can be saved only by exclusivity of exercise of power by judiciary, elected representatives, can’t be trusted. I think to say, the least, is not a fair argument,” the Finance Minister said.

He said in a democracy, where independence of judiciary, is a part of basic structure but so is the elected government and an elected parliament, “you can’t dismantle all other basic structures just to protect one”.

“I think you require reconsideration,” he said while speaking at Times LitFest here.
Jaitley said future generations will have to see that the verdict criminalizing consensual gay sex “are reconsidered”.

He said that reservations in job and education for tribal people and others should continue till the time the “deprived section” of the society do not come on par with others.

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