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India’s Supreme Court are to consider repealing the colonial-era law that criminalises homosexuality.

In 2009, the Delhi High Court scrapped Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which ruled that prohibiting gay sex was a violation of a person’s fundamental rights. This was overruled in 2013 when India’s Supreme Court restored the original 1861 law banning homosexuality. Although prosecutions have been rare, sentences include life imprisonment.

Despite an earlier attempt to repeal the law with a private member’s bill in December, Supreme Court judges headed by the chief justice of India, have agreed to re-examine it, in a move that has been welcomed by LGBT rights activists. The issue has been called a “matter of constitutional importance”.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told ANI News: “The Congress has always believed that every person should have the liberty to do what one wants.

“We have always supported the cause of LGBT community and I believe the constitutional bench will give verdict in positive.”

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