Section 377 of IPC
SECTION 377 Things have been very turbulent in the Indian legal system this year. Many landmark decisions have been made by the supreme court of India. One of them is the legalization of section 377 of the Indian penal code. Section 377 of the Indian penal code was introduced in 1864 during the British rule of India. But on the 6th of September of the year 2018, the Supreme Court announced that the application of section 377 to homosexual sex between adults was not relevant, but section 377 is still enforceable in sex relating to minors, non consensual sex and cross species sex. Gay sex had been taboo in the conservative Indian society. Especially in the rural areas where people are illiterate and did not have any knowledge about these types of things. But after the legalization of section 377, government has taken steps in order to remove the misunderstandings related to gay sex.
The Indian Psychiatric society had recently cleared misunderstandings of many people who thought that homosexuality was a mental illness. It said,” we found a taskforce last year for dealing with this issue. We conducted some experiments and on that basis, say that homosexuality is not a mental illness.” This was said by the IPS president, Ajit V Bhide, adding that section 377 needed to be amended.
Activists feel that the community has to face homophobia on a daily basis, with people refusing to recognize these people and also refusing other needs of LGBTQ members. This mindset can only be changed through interaction with the community. The only way to move forward is to remove the tag of ‘criminals’ by curbing section 377 of IPC. In 2018, the 5 judge constitutional bench of the supreme court started hearing the case for section 377. The plaintiff invoked the right to privacy, right against the discrimination and freedom of speech and expression against section 377. After hearing the plaintiff’s plea for 4 days, the court reserved its verdict on 17 july 2018. The Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on 6th September by reversing its own verdict of 2013 and restoring section 377. According to me this is a one of the good decisions taken by the Supreme Court. According to me homosexuality should not be considered as a crime or a mental illness. It is just a hormonal effect. These people are just like us, the only difference is that they like the people of their same gender. How can liking someone be a crime?! Just because their likes and preferences are different, does not mean that these people should be treated like outcasts or aliens. Thus, in my opinion, Supreme Court has done an excellent job in modifying section 377.