New Delhi: For the second time in three months, Lok Sabha on Friday voted against the introduction of a private member’s bill brought by Congress member Shashi Tharoor to decriminalize homosexuality.
Tharoor’s private member bill sought to amend the “colonial era" Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalizes homosexuality. In effect, the bill aims to decriminalize sexual intercourse in private between consenting adults, irrespective of their sexuality or gender by restricting the applicability of the section.
As Tharoor sought to introduce the private member’s bill, Bharatiya Janata Party members negated the motion and sought division of the house, which was granted by speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Fifty-eight out of 73 members present voted against introduction of the bill, while 14 were in its favour. One member abstained from voting.
Tharoor’s previous attempt to introduce a similar bill in the Lok Sabha on 18 December too was voted out. Tharoor had then said he would make another attempt to introduce the bill.
The Supreme Court in December 2013 overturned a verdict of the Delhi high court that had set aside Section 377 of the IPC asking the government to take a view on the controversial subject of decriminalizing homosexuality.
The Delhi high court in 2009 ruled that Section 377 was unconstitutional. PTI