The battle over the decriminalisation of gay sex in India took an unexpected turn when the Prime Minister stepped in.

Manmohan Singh requested that Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss meet privately to discuss the matter.

The Delhi High Court is considering a petition filed by gay rights activists asking for a colonial era law on “unnatural sex”, known as Section 377, to be overturned.

Section 377 was enacted in 1860 under the British Raj in line with the anti-sodomy laws in England at the time.

Whilst the health ministry is fighting to repeal the law, on the grounds that decriminalisation will help stop the spreading of HIV, the home ministry maintains that gay sex is the product
of “a perverse mind.”

Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said that the cabinet had deferrence a decision on the matter until after the court case has been concluded. He added:

“The prime minister has directed the two ministers to sit together and discuss the matter and sort out differences.”