Gay sex 'not criminal' in India
A court in the Indian capital, Delhi, has ruled that homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is not a criminal act, BBC reported.
The ruling overturns a 148-year-old colonial law which describes a same-sex relationship as an "unnatural offence".
Homosexual acts were punishable by a 10-year prison sentence.
Many people in India regard same-sex relationships as illegitimate or even blasphemous. Rights groups argued the law contravened human rights.
Delhi's High Court ruled that the law outlawing homosexual acts was discriminatory and a "violation of fundamental rights".
The court said that a statute in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines homosexual acts as "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and made them illegal, was an "antithesis of the right to equality".
In 2004, the Indian government opposed a legal petition that sought to legalise homosexuality - a petition the high court in Delhi dismissed.
Rights group have long insisted that the law violated the constitutional rights of homosexuals.