Almost two years after the Supreme Court agreed to hear in open a batch of petitions asking it to revisit its 2013 judgement that criminalised homosexuality in India, the matter will finally be heard on Tuesday.
A bench of five judges will begin hearing the curative petition on Tuesday. If all of them conclude that the case merits re-appreciation of the facts of the case, the bench will issue notice to Suresh Koushal on whose pleading SC revived section 377 IPC.
A curative petition is the final appeal available against the original verdict. An open hearing in this case would be a departure as under the SC rules such a petition curative is decided by circulating it among the judges in chambers.
The judges who deliver the judgement have to be included in the curative bench along with the first three senior top court judges.
But in this case both - Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukopadhyaya have retired. The two had dismissed a review filed against their December 2013 verdict that reinstated the country’s colonial-era sodomy law, which remained suspended for four years following a 2009 Delhi High Court ruling.
On April 23, 2014 a four-judge bench comprising then chief justice P Sathasivam and justices RM Lodha, HL DAttu and SJ Mukopadhyaya (all have retired) said it would hear the curative petitions filed by the Naz Foundation Trust, filmmaker Shyam Benegal, parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual persons, academicians, mental healthcare professionals and Voices Against 377, an umbrella of NGOs.