A decision on repealing the controversial Section of the Penal Law which criminalises homosexuality would be taken only after considering concerns of all sections of society, including religious groups like the church, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.
A meeting of the Union Home, Health and Law Ministers would be held to have a re-look at Section 377 of IPC banning sex between people of the same gender, but a final decision would be taken only after taking into account concerns of all sections of the society, Moily told a meet-the-press programme. "The Cabinet has mandated to have a re-look at the provision. But we are not going to rush to any conclusion. We will certainly take into account concerns of all sections, including religious groups like Christian church," he said.
Moily, however, did not say how soon the ministerial meeting would be held. "This is a matter now engaging a national debate. It is also before court, which has favoured the government to have a look at it. While having a holistic look, it could lead a repeal of the Section in the IPC. It may also mean not repealing a particular Section," he said. Asked if such a radical step would not trigger protests from religious quarters like the church, he said, "We have to discuss all these questions before taking a final decision." There was a feeling that the 150-year-old Section in the IPC required a re-look. Though amendments had been proposed to IPC over the time, there was no integrated, comprehensive and holistic look at the clause, he said.