History of Section 377
- Celebration broke out 6 September, 2018 as the LGBTQ community and others welcomed the supreme court Judgement decriminalising consensual gay sex, asserting that the ‘Historic’.
- Verdict granted them a basic human right but also acknowledging that complete equality was still some distance away.
- A Five – Judge Constitution bench of the supreme court unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-Year Old Colonial law under section 377 of IPC, which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, Prompting joyous tears, hugs and dancing across the country.
- Activists, members of the LGBTQ Community, Author’s and politicians welcomed the verdict.
- This move signifies that society cannot dictate a sexual relationship between consenting adults.
Criticism to this Judgement
- Even though some members of the society are reluctant to accept such judgement it is considered as mental disease to some.
- It Question’s the very notion of supreme court, In 2009, Delhi High court upheld the similar judgement but due to public outrage and lack of political consensus, Supreme court did not uphold.
- Supreme Court even to some extent was afraid to declare such crucial cases even affecting human rights because of Public Outrage.
- Supreme Court should always act on constitutional values.
Brief History of Section 377:
- Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1860, Introduced during the British Rule of India, Criminalises sexual activities “Against the order of nature”. Including homosexual activities.
- Prior to that, Sexual activities, including amongst homosexuals, were not penalised in India, though it textually applies to all persons, Homosexual and Heterosexual. It has been targeted at transgender men.
- Many religions like Christianity and Islam Consider homosexuality as sin, as this act is very against the natural order and hence they are criminals.
- During the end of 19th Century, a strong opinion emerged that it was pathological condition and that the person should not be blamed for such conduct. Later the notion that homosexuality is a disease. Mitigated.
- This Judgement sets the stage for even more significant Judgements like the ‘Sabarimala Case’.
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