KARACHI: In a historic decision, India has legalised homosexuality after decades of struggle by the country’s LGBTQ community.
According to New York Times, India put an end to the British-era law which had previously criminalised homosexuality. Following weeks of judicial deliberations in the Supreme Court, Indian Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the law which criminalised homosexuality, known as Section 377, was “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.”
In the 1860s, British rulers had introduced Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code which imposed a life sentence (and other punishments) on “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature”.
The hearing in India on gay rights started when five people initiated a petition saying that that Section 377 violated rights principles enshrined in the constitution, like equality before law, no discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and freedom of speech and expression, according to NDTV. “No one should have to live in fear because of their sexuality,” the judges said at a hearing.
India is celebrating the momentous decision on Twitter.