India's Supreme Court to hear petition against gay sex law

India's Supreme Court will begin hearings Tuesday on a petition asking it to strike down a colonial-era law which criminalizes gay sex.

In 2013, the same court said it was up to India's legislature to change the anti-gay sex law and not the courts, reversing a High Court decision in 2009 which said that the law violated fundamental rights.

The 1861 law makes "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal" a criminal act punishable by prison terms of up to 10 years.

While few people are jailed under the law, critics say it is used by police and others to harass gays, lesbians and transgenders.

Several petitions to the Supreme Court asking it to review its 2013 decision were turned down, but it announced last week it would hear a curative petition filed by gay rights activists.

A curative petition is the last appeal that can be made before the Supreme Court asking it to "cure" perceived defects in a final order or judgment.

#Section377 was trending on microblogging site Twitter. "Millions of Indians are looking to the Supreme Court to right their wrong today," one Twitter user said.

Last update: Tue, 02/02/2016 - 12:37
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