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Homosexuality Legalised in India by Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court today (2nd July 2009) has legalised homosexuality in India by striking down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalizes homosexuality.



As per the verdict of the bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S Muralidhar section 377 of the IPC would violate Article 21 of the Indian constitution, which states that every citizen has equal opportunity of life and is equal before law.

However, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, will continue for non-consensual and non-vaginal sex.

The Judgement is as follows

This writ petition has been preferred by Naz Foundation, a
Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) as a Public Interest
Litigation to challenge the constitutional validity of Section
377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), which criminally
penalizes what is described as “unnatural offences”, to the
extent the said provision criminalises consensual sexual
acts between adults in private. The challenge is founded on
the plea that Section 377 IPC, on account of it covering
sexual acts between consenting adults in private infringes
the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19
& 21 of the Constitution of India.


Download Full Judgement of the case
target="_blank" href="http://lobis.nic.in/dhc/APS/judgement/02-07-2009/APS02072009CW74552001.pdf">CW--7455/2001 NAZ FOUNDATION Vs. GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI AND OTHERS

Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (Anti-sodomy Law’) was introduced during British rule of India deals with homosexual activity. It is also commonly referred to as the ‘Anti-sodomy Law’. The Section 377 was drafted in 1860 by Lord Macaulay as a part of the colonial project of regulating and controlling the British- and Indian-origin subjects.

The section 377 of the IPC is as follows

377. Unnatural offences.--Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1*[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.-Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

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