A court has ordered the Indian government to respond within a month to an AIDS organization's suit seeking an end to a law that makes same-sex relations a crime, a newspaper reported Thursday. New Delhi high court chief justice Devinder Gupta and Justice B.D. Ahmed told the government to file an affidavit within four weeks making clear its stand, The Indian Express reported.
There have been few cases in recent years of prosecution under the law, which declares homosexual activity a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But the Naaz Foundation, which brought the suit, said police use the threat of the law to harass gay people, who are afraid to come forward to seek AIDS prevention help. The foundation said the harassment is a violation of human rights. "Despite a number of adjournments, no affidavit is filed by the [the federal government] and a last opportunity is given to it to submit it within four weeks," the judges said in their order on Wednesday.