India’s Supreme Court has announced it will take up a petition filed against a law banning homosexuality.

Outlook India reports that the court, which made the controversial ruling to reinstate the law last month, was served the petition by LGBT rights activists including HIV charity the Naz Foundation, who are seeking a stay on enforcement of the judgment.

The group says that the ban violates the human rights of men who have sex with men.

The petition states: “This court has failed to consider the submission that Section 377 violates the right to health of men who have sex with men, since criminalisation of same sex activity impedes access to health services, including HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. This contention was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this court”.

It will be up to the same court to decide whether the initial verdict can stand, or if it needs to be looked at again.

Section 377 of India’s penal code bans “sex against the order of nature”, which is widely interpreted to mean gay sex, and can be punished with up to 10 years in jail. The rule dates back to the days of British colonial rule in India.

The government is currently trying to reverse the ruling, but this could take some time, due to the legal status of the penal code.

Over 100 protesters including Peter Tatchell protested against the law outside the Indian embassy in London earlier this month.

Dr Purna Sen, former Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat and chair of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said last month: “The Supreme Court’s ruling is a terrible setback for the struggle to secure equal rights for LGBT people, not just in India, but in many of the Commonwealth countries that still enforce colonial era restrictions on the liberties of LGBT people.”