New Delhi, Feb. 2 (ANI): Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday welcomed Supreme Court’s decision to keep the Section 377 debate alive by referring the matter to a five-judge bench, saying that it had ‘breathed hope’ into the demands of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, who have been demanding rights of equality for many years.
“The Supreme Court has done the right thing. Back in 201, the court had actually said that this was not the business of the judiciary and they had kicked the ball to the Parliament to decide whether to stay or scrap art. 377. Today by saying that a five judge bench will review the substantive merits of the case, they have essentially and implicitly accepted that this is the business of the judiciary,” Tharoor told ANI.
“They have breathed some hope into the cause of redressing the denial of rights of so many of our citizens,” he added.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court 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 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalises sexual activities against nature, arguably including the homosexual acts, and a January 2014 order by which it had dismissed a bunch of review petitions.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Monday observed that homosexuality could be a ground for divorce. The court’s observation came while hearing two matrimonial discord cases involving a gay man in one and a lesbian woman in the other. (ANI)