India: Supreme Court agrees to hear plea against anti-gay law
The Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea by gay rights activists against a recently reinstated law banning gay sex.
Section 377, a colonial-era section of the Penal Code which bans homosexuality, was re-enacted by India’s Supreme Court in December, and in January the same court rejected an appeal against the decision.
Giving hope to those who wish for the law to be repealed, the court agreed an open curative plea hearing.
Curative petition is the last available resort for grievances in court. It is rare for such petitions to be given open court hearings.
Gay rights activists hope that the hearing may allow the December ruling to be reconsidered.
The four-judge panel will be headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam and will consider several petitions filed by gay rights activists.
One of such organisations, the Naz Foundation, an NGO that works to prevent HIV, argued for the judgement to be reopened, after the Supreme Court earlier this month opted to create a legal third gender, for the country’s trans and intersex populations.
The activists also argued that the 11 December ruling was erroneous as it was based on old law.
Previously, the Supreme Court had declined review petitions filed by Naz, and gay rights activists, saying it did not see a reason to interfere with the ruling.