South African activists protest against the Supreme Court December 2013 ruling outside the Indian Consulate in Johannesburg in January.
In a possibly significant move, India’s Supreme Court has agreed to consider a petition against its earlier ruling outlawing homosexuality.
This follows the submission of a curative petition by the Naz Foundation NGO calling on the court to reconsider its shocking December 2013 decision which restored the 153-year-old colonial-era ban on gay sex.
The Supreme Court overturned a 2009 High Court ruling unbanning gay sex, saying that this should be left to lawmakers to do, not the courts.
It also argued that the LGBT community was too small to warrant constitutional protection.
The verdict sent shockwaves through the Indian LGBT community – estimated at around 40 million people – and outraged human rights groups in South Africa and around the world as a tragic step backwards.
The Naz Foundation said that the Supreme Court’s ruling contained many “patent errors” and called for an open court hearing on the matter in which it could present oral arguments.
On Thursday, the Indian media reported that court said that it will go through the NGOs documents and consider its plea. The court has previously dismissed other requests for it to review the ruling.
A curative petition is a final attempt to have the Supreme Court reconsider a decision although the matter is not usually heard in open court.
Those convicted of homosexuality under section 377 of the Indian penal code face up to life imprisonment.