Tharoor’s bill on gay  sex voted out by LS

New Delhi : In a rare action, a private member bill seeking to decriminalise homosexualty brought by Shashi Tharoor was today voted out by Lok Sabha at the introduction stage itself, prompting the Congress member to cry “intolerance” among a section of the ruling BJP.

The introduction of the bill seeking to “substitute a new section for section 377 of the IPC” was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey when Tharoor moved it for introduction.

Dubey said he was opposing the bill not because of any religious considerations or vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of a Supreme Court judgement.

The Supreme Court in December 2013 had 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 decriminalising homosexuality.

The Delhi High Court in 2009 ruled that Section 377 was unconstitutional.

Tharoor, however, insisted on going ahead with the introduction of the Bill arguing that Dubey was quoting only “partially” from the Supreme Court judgement.

Tharoor was supported by the BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy.

However, in order to take the sense of the House, Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai put the motion to vote.

Tharoor pressed for division of votes in which the motion was negated by 71 ‘no’ against 24 ‘yes’ answers. There was one abstention.

Satpathy remarked “it is a very very sad day”.

This is a rare occurence as the bill, that too a private member one, was voted out at the introduction stage itself. Usually, the private member bills are withdrawn after a debate and a reply by the government.

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