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1. Section of Indian penal code.

2. Introduced in the year 1864 under British rule.

3. Based on buggery act of 1533.

- it is used to criminalize sexual activities against the order of nature.

4. The moment to repel section 377 was initiated by AIDS Bhedbhav virodhi Andolan in 1991.

5. 6th September 2018 the supreme court of India ruled that the application of section 377 to consensual homosexual sex between adults unconstitutional.

6. Section 377 remains in force relating to sex with minors, no consensual sexual acts and bestiality.

Unnatural offences: SECTION 377[1]

Section 377 provides punishment for what is known as bestialilitybuggery, lesbianism and sodomy. These offences consist in having a carnel intercourse against the order of nature by a man with a man or in the same unnatural manner with a woman, or by a man or women in any manner with a beast.


-etymology- bugger (also- bowgardbouguer)

-derived  French word bougre 

-based on Latin word bulgarus or bulgarian [2]

It is the crime of a man having intercourse per anum with a man or a women (sodomy) or of a person of either sex having intercourse per anum or per vaginam with an animal (bestialility). Consent has no defense and both participants are guilty. Since 1967 it isn't an offence in England for a man to commit buggery with another male if it is done in private, both the parties are aged 21 and both consent, but In other circumstances it has continued to be crime.[3]


Bestiality is a type of buggery, the offence of a human of either sex having unnatural sexual relation with an animal per annum or per vaginam.


The term means unnatural sexual practices between womenso called from the poetess Sappho of Lesbos, who is said to have gathered a group of women about her. It has probably never been criminal in the UK unless probably in circumstances affronting public decency, but an imputation of lesbianism is actionable as defamatory.


Sodomy is unnatural sexual relation by a male with another person, per annum, either between male homosexual or between a man and a woman. Long a crime “the abominable crime of buggery” it id, In England since 1967, no longer a crime between males of full age (i.e. 21) in private, if there is consent. 

⦁ Homosexuality

homosexuality or sexual inversion is sexual attraction of one person to another of the same sex, leading to physical contact and sexual pleasure. Male homosexuality or sodomy is a widespread phenomenon but is not infrequent where groups of men are isolated for long period from all women, e.g. In prison, on shipboard, but not confined to such circumstances. The causes are obscure, whether biological psychological. The social dangers involved are considerable, including corruption of young persons, blackmail and psychological disturbances. For long male homosexuality was strongly socially reprobated and criminally punishable as a form of buggery . In England, the sexual offences Act, 1956 made it permissible in private between consenting adults aged at least 21.


incest is intercourse with a near relation. It is an act which is prohibited heterosexual relation between persons within a culturally or legally defined kinship groups are prohibited. Such prohibition are almost universally found in human societies and have generated extensive sociological and psychological literature. It is usually thought that genetic consideration underlies this taboo. The general principle is that sexual relation is prohibited between persons so related that marriage between them is not legally permissible. In England it was, until 1908, not a crime but dealt with by ecclesiastical courts. It is now the crime of a male having sexual relation with his own grand daughterdaughtersister, or mother or of a female having sexual relation with her own grand daughterfatherbrother or son. The relation ship may be of full or half blood and legitimate or ill legitment. In Scotland, it is a crime of sexual intercourse between persons related within the forbidden degrees defined by the statue in 1567 by reference to Leviticus, Chapter 18, 6.18. The offence is committed whether or not there is consent. 



 Movement initiated by AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi andolan in year 1991.

 Year 1996 article in Economic and politically weekly by Vimal Balasubrahmanyan titled ‘Gay rights in India’

 Delayed and reviewed in the next decade.

 Led by Naz foundation (India) trust.

 Filed a public interest litigation in Delhi high court in the year 2001.

⦁ Delhi high court refused to consider a petition regarding the legality of the law saying that the petitioners had no locus standi in the mater.

 Naz foundation appealed to supreme court challenging Delhi high court decision to dismiss the petition on technical grounds.

 The supreme court decided that the Naz foundation has a standing to file a PIL in this case and sent the case back to Delhi high court to reconsider to it on merit.

 Year 2008, the case came up for hearing in Delhi high court. 

 On 7 November the court finished the hearings.

 On 12 June 2009 law minister Veerappa Moily agreed that section 377 might get outdated.

 2 July 2009 Delhi high court over turned the 150-year-old section legalizing consensual homosexual activities between adults.

 While striking down the 105 page judgment a bench of chief justice Ajit Prakash shah and Justice S Muralidhar said that if not amended, section 377 of the IPC would violate Article 14 of the Indian constitution.

 A batch of appeals were filed with supreme court challenging the Delhi high court order.

 0n 27 march 2012 the supreme court reserved the verdict on these. 


Suresh kumar kaushil v. Naz Foundation

 On 11 December 2013, the Supreme court of India set aside the 2009 judgment given by Delhi high court stating that judicial intervention was not required in this issue.

 On the supreme court judgment the supreme court bench justice G.S. Singhvi and S. J. Mukhopadhaya stated

“In the view of the above discussion we hold that section 377 IPC does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and the declaration made by the division beach of the high court is legally unsustainable.”

 Naz foundation filed a review petation against the supreme court order on section 377.

 On January 28, 2014 supreme court dismissed the review petition filed by the central government naz foundation and several others.

2018 judgment
The supreme court has ruled out section 377 and made it unconstitutional.


⦁ 2008 additional solicitor General PP Malhotra said. “homosexuality is a social vice, and the state has a power to contain it. Decriminalizing homosexuality may create a breech of the piece. If it is allowed then evil of Aids and HIV would further spread and harm people it would be big health hazards and degrade moral values of society” this view was shared by the home ministry.[1]

⦁ A daily news article added that baba ramdev, India's well known yoga guru, after praying that journalists not “turn homosexual”, stated he could “cure” homosexuality through yoga and called it “a bad addiction.” [2]

⦁ The vishwa hindu parishad’s vice president Om Prakash Singhal said, “this is a right decision, we welcome it. Homosexuality is against Indian culture against nature and against science. We are regressing going back to when we were almost like animals. The supreme court has protected our culture.”

⦁ Maulana Madini of the jamiat Ulema echoes this in the articlestating that “homosexuality is a crime according to scriptures"and is unnatural.

Criticism and opposition
1. The ministry of health and family welfare opposed the upholding of section 377 stating that it would hinder anti-HIV/AIDS efforts. [1]

2. United nation said that the ban violates international laws.

-against right to privacy. [2]

3. In 2008 a Bombay high court judge also called for scrapping of law. [3]


 Rajnath Singh  we will state that we support Section 377 because we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act.

 Yogi Adtyanath  says welcomes the verdict and will oppose any move to decriminalize homosexuality.

 Smaajvaadi party made it clear that it will oppose any amendments to the section if it comes in parliament for discussion. calling homosexuality as unethical and immoral.

 Ram Gopal Yadav says he supports the decision as it is completely against the culture of our nature.

 Congress party led UPA government also supported the law during initial Naz foundation case, stating gay sex as immoral.


 Finance minister and BJP member Arun Jaitly “supreme court should not have reversed the Delhi high court order which decriminalized consensual sex between gay adults.

 2013 December Rahul Gandhi came in the support of the LGBTQ community rights and said that every individual has a right to choose.

 AAP opposed the decision of supreme court of reversing the decision of Delhi high court and AAP website also included that it violate both right to privacy and human right violations.


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