The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to a five-judge bench a curative petition seeking re-examination of its verdict criminalising homosexuality in the country under section 377 IPC.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur heard the curative petition filed by gay rights activists and NGO Naz Foundation against the apex court's December 11, 2013 judgement upholding validity of section 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of IPC and the January 2014 order, by which it had dismissed a bunch of review petitions.
The petitioners were the NGO Naz Foundation, working for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.
Reacting to the court's move, an activist said, "This is a progressive step in the right direction, it is a corrective measure ."
Another activist said, "For today, this is a good news."
The plea had stated that the judgement was reserved on March 27, 2012, but a verdict was delivered after around 21 months; during this period lots of changes took place, including amendment in laws, which were not considered by the Bench, which delivered the judgement.
The gay rights activists had said thousands from the LGBT community became open about their sexual identity during the past four years after the Delhi High Court 'decriminalised' gay sex in 2009, and they were now facing the threat of being prosecuted.