SC To pronounce whether homosexuality an offence or not

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, Dec 11: It would be a crucial decision for the homosexual community today as the Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on whether homosexuality be treated as a criminal offence.

The battle for legality of same-sex marriages and companionship is old now, but today's verdict will decide whether homosexual partners continue to hide their sexual orientations. The SC will deliver its order on petitions challenging the landmark Delhi High Court judgement of 2009 that decriminalised homosexuality.

In the HC verdict, the court read Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and said that "sex between two consenting adults in private is not offensive."

Following this, several petitions were filed by anti-gay rights activists, social and religious organizations who considered it "immoral, illegal and against the ethos of the Indian culture".

The top court had reserved its order in March last year, post a one-month hearing on a daily basis. However, while the hearing was on, the top court criticized the Centre for its "casual" approach in dealing with homosexuality and demanded that the Parliament discussed these issues, instead of blaming the judiciary for its alleged overreach.

Surprisingly, the Centre told the top court that the anti-gay law in the country was a result of the British colonialism and that Indian society was more tolerant towards homosexuality. This was in complete contrast to its earlier opinion on decriminalisation of homosexuality before the High Court where it had called it "unnatural, immoral and reflection of a perverse mind."

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