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In a much-needed reprieve to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, the apex court last year referred the matter to a five-judge bench for further hearing on a curative petition challenging its earlier order.
An apex court bench headed by former chief justice of India T.S. Thakur had earlier agreed to hear the curative petition against its December 2013 order, upholding validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and a January 2014 order by which it had dismissed a bunch of review petitions.
The petitioners include the NGO Naz Foundation, working for the LGBT community.
The plea 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.
Section 377 of IPC criminalises sexual activities against the order of nature, arguably including the homosexual acts.
A fresh plea filed by celebrities from different walks of life affected by Section 377 was dismissed by the the top court in June because of the petitions already pending with another bench.
The Indian government's stance on LGBTQ rights was made amply clear in the country's refusal to vote in the United Nations Human Rights Commission's (UNHRC) resolution to set up the office of an independent expert to end discrimination against LGBTQ people.
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