Quash Section 377 Of IPC, Says Former SC Judge N Santosh Hegde

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Hyderabad(PTI): Former Solicitor General of India N Santosh Hegde has said section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, that criminalises homosexuality, should be quashed.

“Section 377 should be quashed and two consenting adults having sex should have no obstruction at all,” the retired Supreme Court judge told PTI.

He was replying to a query for seeking his views on the colonial penal provision.

“Under section 377, sex between the same group is not allowed. It is an offence. It, according to me, is not correct. The LGBT community…what will they do? Therefore, I am of the opinion that it has to be quashed,” Hegde said.

The Supreme Court earlier this week agreed to reconsider its 2013 verdict criminalising gay sex and referred to a larger bench the plea challenging the provision, observing societal morality “changes from age to age”.

Hegde also said that playing the national anthem in places like cinema halls, restaurants and on roads amounts to “taking forward nationalism a bit too far”.

The former Karnataka Lokayukta was commenting in the context of the Supreme Court making optional playing of the national anthem in cinema halls before the screening of films.

The apex court yesterday modified its November 30, 2016 order by which it had made playing the anthem mandatory in cinema halls before the screening of a film.

Hegde said everyone must stand up when the national anthem is played at official functions and flag hoisting ceremonies and events of such kind.

“But not in cinema theatres, not in dining rooms, not in restaurants, not on roads…suppose suddenly somewhere if a man sings the national anthem, why should anybody on the road stand in attention,” he said, voicing his opposition to forcing a person to become a nationalist.

On the Supreme Court yesterday asking the Centre to apprise it of the various modes of executing death row prisoners prevalent in other countries, Hegde said he is in favour of capital punishment.

He said, “I am for capital punishment. What’s the principle behind abolishing capital punishment? That it is inhuman…God has given life and no man can take away the life.”

“These are the two concepts under which capital punishment is sought to be abolished. (But) what happens to the life of the victim? Does he not have humanism?” Hegde asked.

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