Polity Notes


Section 377 of IPC was introduced in 1864 during the British rule. It makes sexual activities against the order of nature, sex with other person of same gender illegal and punishable offence.

On 2nd July 2009 in Naaz Foundation vs Government of NCT of Delhi, Delhi High Court held that provisions of section 377 of IPC as unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults of same sex.

During 2009 to 2013 various religious groups, individuals and organisations kept on protesting against the ruling of Delhi High Court, and filed petition in Supreme Court against the order of Delhi High Court.

Supreme Court on 11 December 2013 overturned the ruling of Delhi High Court and also dismissed a review plea.

After the decision of Supreme Court, various LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) groups started demonstrations against the ruling of SC. Congress Parliament member Shashi Tharoor introduced Private Member Bill to decriminalise homosexuality. Lok Sabha voted against this bill.

Presently in about 25 countries, homosexuality is not an offence but in about 72 countries, homosexuality is a criminal act. In 45 countries homosexuality among women is allowed but among men, it is an offence punishable by law.

In view of growing acceptance of homosexuality worldwide, Supreme Court on 2nd February 2016 agreed to reconsider its ruling of 11th December 2013 and referred the matter to abolish section 377 of IPC to a five member Constitution bench.

On 24 August 2017 in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs Union of India Case, SC gave the ruling that right to privacy is a fundamental right which opened the door for fresh pleas to decriminalise homosexuality.

On 6th September 2018 in Navtej Singh Johar vs union of India Case, five judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court headed by chief Justice Dipak Misra termed the part of section 377 Of IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary but section 377 remains in force relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts and bestiality.

Now sex between consenting adults of same sex is not a criminal act and is not punishable