Ready to consider curative petition on Section 377: Supreme Court

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Section-377-of-IPCThe Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to consider the plea seeking an open court hearing on curative petitions filed by different gay rights activists against the verdict criminalizing homosexuality.

A division bench led by Hon’ble Chief Justice P Sathasivam, after hearing the arguments put forward by lawyers representing different parties, stated that it would carefully examine all the documents and consider their plea.

The petitioner also included Naz Foundation, an NGO that has been leading the relentless assault against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalizes homosexuality and other deviant sexual behavior.

“The judgment was reserved on March 27, 2012 but it was delivered after around 21 months. During this long period, lots of changes took place, including amendment in laws. But these changes were failed to be considered by the Bench which delivered the judgment,” said senior advocate Ashok Desai during the hearing.

Public opinion over the ban on homosexuality in India has remained largely mixed.  While the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community has opposed the verdict, a large number of organizations, including religious bodies, have come in support of the verdict.

Many claim that legalizing homosexuality in the country could lead to further complications in the efforts to control growing instances of child sexual abuse as well as certain less prevalent crimes such as male rape.

The apex court had earlier rejected government’s plea alongside the petitions filed by many renowned LGBT activists to review its Dece 2013 verdict criminalizing homosexuality.