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Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday, 10 January, suggested that the Supreme Court verdict decriminalising homosexual sex may not be implemented in the Army, PTI reported.
General Rawat, during his annual press conference, said such actions are forbidden in the Army.
“We will not allow this to happen in the Army.”General Bipin Rawat
When asked about the court ruling on adultery, he said the Army is conservative. "We can't allow it to perpetrate into the Army.”
LGBTQ Activists React
LGBT rights activist Ashok Row Kavi condemned the Army chief’s remark and said that homosexuality was “always in our culture and homophobia came in with the British”. While he agreed that discipline is necessary regarding the private lives of officers, regulation is uncalled for, he said, speaking to ANI.
Speaking to news channel Mirror Now, LGBTQ activist Harish Iyer called Rawat’s comment “regressive” and asserted that homosexuality has always been a part of Indian culture.
Iyer also posed a question to the Army chief and said, “How is he planning to find out who is from the LGBTQ community and who is not from the LGBTQ community?”
He also responded to Rawat’s argument of the Army being “conservative” and said that the most conservative thing to do is to accept the LGBTQ community as that has being Indian culture and that homophobia is a western approach.
SC Decriminalised Homosexuality in September 2018
In what was hailed as a historic move, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in September 2018 unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises consensual ‘unnatural’ sex, saying it violated the Constitutional right to equality.
Last year, the Supreme Court had also struck down a colonial-era anti-adultery law, saying it was unconstitutional and dented the individuality of women and treated them as "chattel of husbands.”
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)