SC to hear today review petition on Sec 377 that criminalises gay sex | india | Hindustan Times
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SC to hear today review petition on Sec 377 that criminalises gay sex

More than two years after delivering its judgment, the Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a batch of petitions seeking a revision to the 2013 verdict that criminalized homosexuality in India and sparked numerous gay pride parades in protest in the country.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2016 11:36 IST
HT Correspondent
Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a batch of petitions seeking a revision to the 2013 verdict that criminalized homosexuality in India
Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a batch of petitions seeking a revision to the 2013 verdict that criminalized homosexuality in India(HT )

More than two years after delivering its judgment, the Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a batch of petitions seeking a revision to the 2013 verdict that criminalized homosexuality in India and sparked numerous gay pride parades in protest in the country.

A five-judge bench will begin hearing in open a curative petition against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises homosexual acts for being “against the order of nature”. If the bench agrees that the case merits re-appreciation of the facts of the case, the bench will issue notice to Suresh Koushal on whose pleading the SC revived the section.

Equal rights activists in India have been fighting a long legal battle asking for Section 377 to be repealed on grounds that it violates human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs). A number of protest rallies were also taken out through the country over the years with many, including celebrities, coming out in favour of the section being struck down.

A curative petition is the final appeal available against an original verdict. An open hearing in this case would be a departure as under the SC rules as such a petition is usually 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 three senior most judges.

However, in this case, both the judges who reviewed and dismissed a petition filed against their December 2013 verdict have retired. Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukopadhyaya had 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 currently retired – said it would hear the curative petitions filed by the Naz Foundation Trust, filmmaker Shyam Benegal, parents of LGBT persons, academicians, mental healthcare professionals and Voices Against 377, an umbrella of NGOs.