Section 377 - The legal journey Explained

Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people, along with their supporters, take part in Namma Pride Bengaluru Queer Habba rally in Bengaluru.
 The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court approved the removal of Section 377, provides positive signs for the LGBTQ community in India.
What is Section 377 of IPC
a British law dates back to 1861 and criminalizes sexual activities against the order of nature.
the ambit of this law extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion.
 “Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 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 Legal Journey

2009 Judgement 
•Delhi HC said Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights but the religious groups moved the Supreme Court against this verdict.
•Read down section to non-consensual penile, nonvaginal sex, sexual acts of adults with a minor.  

•Upheld the criminalization
•dismissed the LGBTQ community as a negligible population.

•SC said the constitutionality of section 377 required an in-depth hearing

•SC upheld "Right to Privacy" and observed that Section 377 hindered one's fulfillment of sexual orientation as an element of privacy & dignity
•SC received lots of writ petitions to eliminate section 377


  • The five-judge Bench — headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra — will examine a batch of petitions claiming that the 2013 judgment was wrong.
  • The section would not apply to consensual same-sex acts between homosexuals, heterosexuals, lesbians and other sexual minorities 
  • Section 377 would apply to bestiality and sexual acts without consent by one of them. 
  • "Bodily autonomy is individualistic. A matter of choice and is part of dignity."Section 377 is violative of Article 14.



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The Radical - Information That Matters: Section 377 - The legal journey Explained
Section 377 - The legal journey Explained
The Radical - Information That Matters
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