Gay activists and the NGO which fought eight-year-long legal battle for their rights today hailed the Delhi High Court verdict legalising homosexuality as "progressive".
"Now it seems we are in 21st century as the rights of homosexuals have been recognised by the High Court.
"This is very progressive judgement which recognises the right to equality," Anjali Gopalan, founder of Naz foundation, the NGO, which filed the petition in Court, said.
The gay rights activists never sought total scrapping of the penal provisions and simply fought against exclusion of a section of society, she said.
"We cannot exclude a section of society just because of their homosexual nature. We never demanded repealment of Section 377 IPC. We simply sought that unnatural sexual acts between consenting adults be excluded from the purview of Section 377 of the IPC (provision prescribing maximum sentence upto life term for the homosexual act)," Gopalan said.
Mehak Sethi, advocate who represented the NGO, said, "We are excited that Section 377 vis-a-vis unnatural sex has been excluded from the purview of regressive penal provision."
She expressed relief that the High Court retained the penal provisions with regard to child abuse.
In a pathbreaking judgement, the Delhi High Court today legalised gay sex among consenting adults holding that the law making it a criminal offence violates fundamental rights.