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.

Religious Angle:

  • 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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