SC hearing petitions against Section 377

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The Supreme Court has been scheduled to continue listening to a batch of petitions against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code on Wednesday.

Section 377 criminalises homosexuality and deals with “unnatural offences” and states that “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

The five-judge Constitutional bench is headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and has refused the Centre time to file its reply to the petitions.

Arvind Dattar, an advocate representing one of the petitioners, said that “If Section 377 was enacted today; it won’t withstand the test of constitutionality.”

Meanwhile, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community activists have expressed hope and optimism of a favourable outcome.

The Delhi High Court had decriminalised Section 377 earlier in 2009, but in 2013 the Supreme Court overturned the ruling and recriminalised it.

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