New Delhi: The star-cast of the upcoming film, 'Aligarh,' has welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to refer petitions related to Section 377 of Indian Penal Code to a five-judge bench.
Section 377, which was de-criminalised by the Delhi High Court in July 2009, was overturned by the Supreme Court in December 2013, on grounds that amending or repealing it should be left to the Parliament and not the judiciary.
But now, the latest Supreme Court's decision has given a sense of hope to the demands of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.
"I feel very positive because this matter was shut and closed. Now, Supreme Court has decided to re-open it, re-hear it and referred it to five-judge bench, which in itself shows that they are coming into it with an open-mind and they are going to discuss each and every aspect of it and I am always in for discussions," said Manoj Bajpai, who plays the character of a gay professor in 'Aligarh.'
Hansal Mehta, who has directed the film, said, "It's a step in the right direction. Referring this curative petition to a five judge bench means that the petition will be heard and will not be thrown out."
"I see positivity in whatever happened today and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I hope all goes well and that would be a step ahead towards progress," said Rajkumar Rao, who portrays the character of a journalist in the film.
Apurva Asrani, who has written the script of the film and has been actively participating in debates of LGBT rights, said, "What happened in 2013 with the Supreme Court decision did hurt a lot of people who have come out in the previous years. When 2009 high court had de-criminalised it (Section 377), there was a travesty of justice and the whole world, even the United Nations was looking upon it. The Supreme Court which has such a clean record was questioned if they were getting influenced but today's decision has restored our faith in Supreme Court."
'Aligarh' is a film which revolves around the story of a gay professor, Dr.Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation.
The film, which stars Manoj Bajpai and Rajkumar Rao, is scheduled to release on February 26.