Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code
is a piece of legislation
introduced during British rule of India
that criminalises sexual activity "against the order of nature." The section was read down to decriminalise same-sex behaviour among consenting adults in a historic judgement by the High Court of Delhi on 2 July 2009. Section 377 continues to apply in the case of sex involving minors and coercive sex.
The ambit of Section 377, which was devised to criminalize and prevent homosexual associations - sodomy in particular, extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion. Thus even consensual heterosexual acts such as fellatio and digital penetration may be a punishable offense under this law.
In 2008 Additional Solicitor General
PP Malhotra said:
Opposition and criticism
Convictions are extremely rare, and in the last twenty years there have been no convictions for homosexual relations in India. However, Human Rights Watch
argues that the law has been used to harass HIV/AIDS
prevention efforts, as well as sex workers
, and other groups at risk of the disease., report from Human Rights Watch
, January 11, 2006. The People's Union for Civil Liberties
has published two reports of the rights violations faced by sexual minorities and, in particular, transsexuals
in... Read More