05/09/2018 6:05 PM IST | Updated 05/09/2018 6:18 PM IST

Section 377 Verdict Tomorrow: Privacy Judgement Offers Hope That Homosexuality Will Finally Be Decriminalised

A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
Activists and rights groups are cautiously optimistic that Thursday's verdict will be favourable.

NEW DELHI—The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which effectively criminalises homosexuality, tomorrow.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, will pronounce judgement on the colonial-era provision that penalises sexual activies "against the order of nature."

Civil liberties activists and LGBTQ rights groups are cautiously optimistic that the verdict will be in their favour, given that a 2017 Supreme Court ruling on the right to privacy that held that

"discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform. The right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution."

READ: I'm A Muslim Single Mother In India And Came Out As Lesbian When I Was 45

The battle to decriminalise homosexuality in India has trod a long and difficult path.

In the Naz Foundation judgement of 2009, the Delhi Court read down Section 377 — sparking relief and celebrations — only for a division bench of the Supreme Court to overturn this judgement in the Suresh Kumar Koushal case in 2013.

READ: India's Queer Community Has Fought A Long Battle Against Sec 377 And It's Supreme Court's Turn To Do The Right Thing

The verdict is expected in the first half of tomorrow. HuffPost India will update this story as it evolves.