The government refused to appoint a gay lawyer as a judge, India’s top court said

NEW DELHI: The Indian government has refused to appoint a senior lawyer as a judge because he is gay and has a foreign partner, the country’s top court said on Friday.

New Delhi outlawing gay sex in late 2018 with a Supreme Court decision, and widespread opposition to human rights in the country.

Homosexual attitudes have softened among the urban middle classes, but many gay Indians are still threatened by family, friends or work if they come out.

In November, a panel of the high court, including the chief justice, unanimously recommended Saurabh Kirpal, who is a philanthropist, for the appointment of a high court judge in Delhi.

But the government rejected his request, saying the foreign intelligence agency and the law department objected to the reasons for his sex and “intimate relationship” with a Swiss citizen, the panel said. on the court’s website.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has opposed efforts to recognize same-sex relationships in lower court cases.

Kirpal was selected on merit, the panel said late on Thursday, praising his openness about his promotion and saying that denying him his seniority would violate his “constitutional rights” “.

According to the statement, India’s law minister expressed Kirpal’s “strong influence and passion for the cause of gay rights” and said that it had created a “state of prejudice and bias” .

“Homosexuality is criminalized in India, however same-sex marriage remains unrecognized either by statutory or private law in India,” the article said. said the minister.

Many petitioners are seeking the supreme court in the hope of legalizing same-sex marriage.

The judiciary and the Modi government are at loggerheads over the appointment of judges.

Published in The Dawn, January 21st, 2023

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