Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of IPC

Published: September 7, 2018

In a landmark judgement on September 6, the Supreme Court of India (SCI) struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and decriminalized homosexuality. The five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra unanimously scrapped a 156-year old colonial-era law banning gay sex that was punishable by a jail sentence of up to 10 years. Thereby, this verdict is the beginning of a journey towards greater dignity, equality and liberty. However, the court held that Section 377 will apply to “unnatural” sexual acts like bestiality. Sexual acts without consent continue to be a crime under the Section. IPC Section 377 came into force in 1861 during the British rule of India (modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533) which criminalised sexual activities “against the order of nature”, including homosexual activities.

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