News World India's top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

India’s top court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

India’s top court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex on Thursday in a landmark judgement that activists hope will uphold the right to equality.

Gay sex is considered taboo by many in socially conservative India, and was reinstated as a criminal offence in 2013 after four years of decriminalisation.

A five-judge bench in India’s Supreme Court was unanimous in overturning the ban.

“Any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults – homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians – cannot be said to be unconstitutional,” said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, as he read out the judgement.

Gay sex had been punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Activists welcomed the ruling.

“Thanks to all that fought for this, braving the worst sort of prejudice. This is a good day for human rights,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch said on Twitter.

“It is not only about decriminalising but recognising our fundamental rights,” Akhilesh Godi, one of the petitioners in the case, told Reuters shortly before the judgement was announced.

The judges in the case had previously said that gay people in India faced deep-rooted trauma and live in fear.

A law known as “Section 377” had prohibited “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” – which was widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex.

Top Stories

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: More than 60.68 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel...

AstraZeneca CEO expects to run new global trial of COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca is likely to run an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine using a lower dosage, its chief executive...

European Parliament urges EU to impose sanctions on Turkey over Cyprus

The European Parliament has urged the EU to impose sanctions on Turkey after President Tayyip Erdogan this month paid a visit to the breakaway...

EBRD’s mandate in Cyprus to conclude end of 2020

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's mandate in Cyprus will conclude by the end of 2020, according to a press release from the lender. Because...

Mostly cloudy on Friday, possible first snow in Troodos mountain

Mostly cloudy on Friday with isolated showers and thunderstorms as well as the year's  possible first snow in the Troodos mountain, according to the...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...