SC agrees to hear curative petition of gay rights activists

New Delhi, April 22: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in open court a curative petition of gay rights activists for decriminalizing gay sex.

The curative plea challenging SC verdict against gay sex will be taken up next week.

Earlier, gay rights activists had appealed to the Supreme Court to take into account its recent verdict on granting separate recognition to transgenders while deciding their curative petition against its judgment criminalizing homosexuality.

Appearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, senior advocate Anand Grover had pleaded that it should consider the April 15 verdict recognizing transgenders or eunuchs as third category of gender while taking a decision on curative plea.

Curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in court.

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 judgment delivered on December 11 last year as it was based on old law.

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 up to life imprisonment.

The court had said it did not see any reason to interfere with the December 11, 2013 verdict and had also rejected the plea for oral hearing on the review petitions which are normally decided by judges in-chamber without giving an opportunity to parties to present their views.

The Supreme Court had on December 11, 2013 set aside the Delhi high court judgement decriminalizing gay sex and thrown the ball in Parliament's court for amending the law.

The judgment revived the penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with life imprisonment in a setback to people fighting a battle for recognition of their sexual preferences.


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