Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) should stay, as homosexuals who “flaunt” their sexual orientation deserve to be punished, reported ANI. His opinion came right after the Supreme Court indicated that it would revisit its 2013 judgment that upheld the criminalisation of homosexuality. A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said the issue arising out of Section 377 requires to be debated upon by a larger bench.
Swamy put a condition before homosexuals seeking privacy. He said that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community can do whatever they want to do but "in privacy" and not "celebrate" their sexuality. "As long as they don't celebrate it, don't flaunt it, don't create gay bars to select partners it's not a problem," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
"In their privacy what they do, nobody can invade but if you flaunt it, it has to be punished & therefore there has to be #Section377 of the IPC," he added.
The 78-year-old BJP leader, a staunch supporter of Section 377 of IPC, has always been vocal against homosexuality. In 2015, he had called homosexuality a "genetic flaw".
Section 377 of the IPC refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse 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 ten years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
The apex court also issued a notice to the Centre on 8th January, 2018 seeking its response to a writ petition filed by five members of the LGBT community, who said they live in fear of police because of their sexual orientation. Meanwhile, eminent lawyer Harish Salve has claimed that Section 377 contradicts with the Right to Privacy and hence would soon be formally repealed.