BJP, Congress welcome SC verdict on LGBT

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New Delhi, Feb. 2 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Tuesday appeared to be in tune with the Supreme Court’s decision to refer the curative plea on homosexuality to five-judge bench.

“In the Congress Party, we have always believed that Section 377 should be decriminalised. Matters of choice and whom you want to love should be left to individuals, rather than society at large and rather than making it a criminal offence,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.

Surjewala expressed certainty that the Supreme Court would do justice to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT) by examining the matter through a larger Constitutional bench.

Echoing similar sentiments, another Congress leader Magma said, “If the law wants to think about them, then it’s good. If the law has decided to refer it further, then it is good for the community. Congress always support people’s sentiments and stand with them in their fight. This is the same in this case.”

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Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said it would be apt to wait for the final verdict of the apex court in the matter.

“I don’t think it would be correct to speak about the merits of the case in terms of the arguments on both sides, because now the matter is before the honourable Supreme Court,” he said.

The apex court today 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 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 and a January 2014 order by which it had dismissed a bunch of review petitions.

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The petitioners include the NGO Naz Foundation, working for the LGBT community.

Section 377 of IPC criminalises sexual activities against the order of nature, arguably including the homosexual acts. (ANI)

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