Justices Won't Review Challenges to Mississippi's Anti-Gay Law

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The Apex Court also issued a notice to the Center's response on a writ petition filed by five members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, who said they live in fear of police due to their natural sexual orientation and preferences.

Section 377 has undergone many twists and turns ever since the Delhi High Court decriminalised it in 2009.

India may be on the verge of a major victory for gay rights after the country's supreme court agreed to re-examine a colonial-era law outlawing sex between men.

The supreme court observed in 2013 that fewer than 200 people had been convicted for homosexual acts under the legislation but activists say it is regularly used to blackmail and intimidate LBGTI Indians as well as to stymie HIV/Aids prevention efforts.

Section 377 of IPC, came into force in 1862 - defines unnatural offences.

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Reopening the debate on Indian Penal Code's Article 377, the three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by CJI Dipak Misra said, "it would reconsider and examine the Constitutional validity of section 377".

In 2009, the Delhi High Court had described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

In August this year, the apex court, in its landmark judgment on the privacy issue, said that "sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy".

Arvind Datar was speaking for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and said that section 377 was not a "reasonable restriction". Religious groups, however, had appealed against the decision in the Supreme Court.

SC has also issues notice to the Centre seeking response on a writ petition filed by five members of LGBT community, who say they live in fear of Police due to their natural sexual preferences, according to new agency ANI. The bench noted that "a section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear" and "societal morality also changes from age to age".

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