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  1. ITV Report

India’s supreme court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

India’s supreme court has struck down a law from the colonial era that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The court accepted a petition filed by five people who claimed they are living in fear of being harassed and prosecuted by police.

This is the moment homosexual acts were decriminalised:

One activist Shashi Bhushan said: "We feel as equal citizens now.

"What happens in our bedroom is left to us."

Petitioners who challenged the law - known as Section 377 - argued that it was unconstitutional and they had support from one Bollywood producer and director.

Karan Johar tweeted: "Historical judgement!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing section 377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!"

  • What is section 377?

The British Raj introduced Section 377 as part of India's criminal code.

It states: "Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1[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 fight against section 377 - a timeline

1861: British India introduces section 377, based on 16th century law called the Buggery Act.

1994: India's first AIDS activist movement, AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan, seeks to decriminalise homosexuality.

2001: An NGO, Naz Foundation, files a second petition at the Delhi High Court in the hopes of legalising gay sex.

2003: The Delhi High Court refuses to consider the petition.

2009: Homosexuality is decriminalised as the Delhi High Court overturns the colonial law.

2012: On March 27, the Supreme Court reverses the verdict.

2013: Section 377 is reinstated and gay sex is criminalised making it punishable with up to life imprisonment.

2015: A member of the Indian National Congress party, Shashi Tharoor, introduces a bill to decriminalise homosexuality and it is voted down twice.

2018: Gay sex is decriminalised.

  • Reaction from India

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Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh were among those who celebrated the historic judgement.