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'Historical Chance to Expand Constitutional Values Lost'

A "historical opportunity" has been lost to expand constitutional values, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising today said reacting to the Supreme Court verdict holding gay sex as a punishable offence.

Lending her support to gay rights activists, the ASG said the penal provision for homosexuality is a reflection of "medieval mindset" and raised question as to why the bench put the ball in the court of legislature to decide on the issue when so many other matters and policies are being reviewed by the apex court.

"Historical opportunity to expand constitutional values has been lost," Jaising said, adding, "It is surprising that the court, which does judicial review on many issues, has put the ball in the court of Parliament to decide on homosexuality."

During the arguments in the case before the apex court, the Centre had supported decriminalisation of gay sex, saying the anti-gay law in the country had resulted from British colonialism and the Indian society was much more tolerant towards homosexuality.

Soon after the verdict was pronounced in a jam-packed court room, there was a gloom and dejection among scores of gay rights activists who said they will seek review of the order after going through the verdict.

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