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Hope for LGBT, SC's Constitution Bench to hear plea on homosexuality

The bench, which did not issue notice to the Centre or any of the parties opposing decriminalisation of section 377, said the larger bench would be constituted in the future.



New Delhi: In a ray of hope for the LGBT community, the Supreme Court on Tuesday decided that a five-judge Constitution Bench will revisit a two-year-old verdict by which a colonial law criminalising consensual sexual acts between the same sex adults was restored.

"It would be appropriate to refer the issue to a five-judge Constitution bench", a three-judge bench said in an open-court hearing.

The bench observed that there were important issues concerning the several "constitutional dimensions of importance" were ingrained in the challenge against Section 377 of the IPC which criminalised homosexuality, Section 377 of IPC, enacted during the British raj way back in 1860, criminalises sexual activities between the same sex as it was "against the order of nature".

The three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices AR Dave and JS Khehar agreed that the matter involving important issues concerning the scope of human relationship needed to be heard by a larger bench.

Today's apex court's decision was welcomed by the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and gay right activists who said they are happy that the curative petition has not been dismissed and there is a hope of positive outcome of their 15-year-old legal battle.

The bench, which did not issue notice to the Centre or any of the parties opposing decriminalisation of section 377, said the larger bench would be constituted in the future.

During the hearing, the bench was told that there were eight curative petitions seeking re-examination of the order on the review petition and the December 11, 2013 judgement by which the Delhi High Court verdict de-criminalising section 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of the IPC was set aside.

A battery of senior lawyers appeared in the case today.

From Zee News

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