Arun Jaitley
AugustaWestland Scam: Jaitley denies any deal with Italian govt. Picture: Finance Minister Arun JaitleyReuters

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that the Supreme Court's 2014 verdict declaring Section 377 as unconstitutional and criminalising consensual gay sex needs to be "reconsidered".

"When you have millions of people involved in this (gay sex) you can't nudge them off," Jaitley said while speaking at the Times Lit Fest.

Referring to the evolution of jurisprudence, Jaitley said that the law would have been right 50 years ago, but "as jurisprudence world over is evolving, I think the judgement was not correct and probably at some stage they may have to reconsider," according to a PTI report.

He also commented on the controversy over reservation policy and said that the time has not yet come to do away with the quota system as India has not been able to fulfil the purpose behind introducing it at the first place.

"It's still not the time to think of that. Let us honestly introspect. It is an argument raised by those who feel that their interest is impacted adversely by reservation. Have we brought the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in this country to a level that in 2015 they are able to compete at par... Can we honestly admit that? And, if we can't, then I think let's not speak, today at least, about the time frame. Let's first bring them up," he said.

"Look at the plight of tribes in central India and look at the consequential kind of social and even violent movements which are being built up due to dissatisfaction. In the face of that, I don't think the time has come to fix a time frame," he added.

In September this year, Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of RSS – ideological mentor of the ruling BJP – suggested that the reservation policy needs to be reviewed as it is being used as a political tool.

He suggested for establishment of a committee "of people genuinely concerned for the interest of the whole nation and committed for social equality, including some representatives from the society, they should decide which categories require reservation and for how long".

His statement came after a major quota-agitation of Patel community led by 22-year-old Hardik Patel. He organised a major rally in Ahmedabad in August this year demanding reservation in education institutions and government jobs for the Patidar community under OBC category.

He has since then extended his protests to other parts of the nation, including Madhya Pradesh.

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