Gay sex: SC agrees to consider curative petition in open court

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Gay rights
New Delhi, Apr 3: The Supreme Court today agreed to consider the plea for an open court hearing on curative petitions filed by gay rights activists against its verdict criminalising homosexuality.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, before whom the matter was mentioned by senior lawyers appearing for different parties, said that it will go through the documents and consider their plea. Curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in court and it is normally considered by judges in-chamber without granting opportunity to parties to argue the case.

The petitioners, including NGO Naz Foundation which has been spearheading the legal battle on behalf of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, contended that there was an error in the judgement delivered on December 11 last year as it was based on old law.

"The judgement was reserved on March 27, 2012 but the verdict was delivered after around 21 months and during this period lots of changes took place including amendment in laws which were not considered by the bench which delivered the judgement," senior advocate Ashok Desai told the bench.

Other senior advocates Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi, Anand Grover and other lawyers also supported Desai and pleaded for an open court hearing. They submitted that the case should have been heard by the Constitution bench instead of two-judge bench, which heard and delivered the verdict on the controversial issue.

The apex court had earlier dismissed a batch of review petitions filed by the Centre and gay rights activists including noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal against its December 2013 verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable upto life imprisonment.

PTI

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