Tag Archives: Indian Penal Code

Having a Homosexual Relationship Is Not Wrong in India


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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The Buggery Act 1533, formally An Acte for the punishment of the vice of Buggerie (25 Hen. 8 c. 6), was an Act of the Parliament of England that passed during the reign of Henry VIII piloted through Parliament by Thomas Cromwell.

The Act defined buggery as an unnatural sexual act, “the detestable and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with Mankind or Beast” against the will of God and Man. This was later defined by the courts to include only anal penetration and bestiality.

It was England’s first civil sodomy law, such offences having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts. The act remained in force until repealed and replaced by the Offences against the Person Act 1828, and buggery remained a capital offence until 1861, though the last executions were in 1835.

The Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533,. It makes sexual activities “against the order of nature“, illegal.

377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 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

All over the world many still consider homosexuality as a “deviant behaviour” and not merely a question of one’s sexual orientation or preference. In India, too many consider homosexuality as taboo, and opinions are divided on this controversial issue but the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or LGBT community and some freedom-loving people want homosexuality de-criminalised.

On July 2, 2009, in response to a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalized consensual sexual activities between homosexual adults conducted in private, the Delhi High Court struck down portions of Section 377 concerning gay sex as unconstitutional. The judgment held that Section 377 infringed upon fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution of India, and declared the section unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalized private consensual sexual activity between adults. 

Some religious bodies challenged this judgment of decriminalizing Section 377 in the Supreme Court of India.

On December 11, 2013, in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation case, the Supreme Court of India held that Section 377 providing punishment for gay sex was constitutionally valid and overturned the judgement of the Delhi High Court, thereby shutting the small window for gay rights opened by the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court held that amending or repealing section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary. 

On Saturday, November 28, 2015, speaking at the Times LitFest, late finance minister Arun Jaitley of BJP and his predecessor P Chidambaram of Congress came out in support of gay rights. 

Arun Jaitley is the first leader from the BJP to have supported decriminalization of consensual sex among gay adults. Speaking in his capacity, he said, “When millions of people world over are having alternative sexual preferences, it is too late in the day to propound a view that they should be jailed. The Delhi High Court’s view appears more acceptable.” 

Speaking just afterwards, Chidambaram, who was also speaking in his capacity, said that the Delhi High Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex was a wonderful one and the Supreme Court should have stayed with it.

On February 6, 2016, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court reviewed curative petitions submitted by the Naz Foundation and others and decided that they would be reviewed by a five-member constitutional bench.

On August 24, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution in the landmark  Puttaswamy judgement. The Court also called for equality and condemned discrimination, stated that the protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of the fundamental rights and that the rights of the LGBT population are real and founded on constitutional doctrine. This judgement was believed to imply the unconstitutionality of section 377. 

In January 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition to revisit the 2013 Naz Foundation judgment. 

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, in the judgment given by a five judges bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices R F Nariman, D Y Chandrachud, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, the Supreme Court of India pronounced the much-awaited verdict on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual gay sex. It ruled unanimously in Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India that Section 377 was unconstitutional “in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex.” 

However, other portions of Section 377 relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality stay in force.

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Dubious Posts in Social Media Mislead Society About Anti-rape Laws


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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I have repeatedly said in my posts on my website “Impressions ~ of what comes to my mind” and in my Facebook page not to believe everything posted on social media websites such as Facebook. Here is one such post with dubious information that is  going viral on the social media:

Finally a new law passed

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The above message that I came across recently on Facebook was an outcome of the Delhi gang rape of December 16, 2012 that incited people nationwide, from every strata of our civil society, to demand for strict anti-rape laws. Everyone started exploring the existing laws for punishing the rapists under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Currently, a flood of Short Message Service (SMS) and social medium posts carrying information about a “new anti-rape law” being passed are misguiding people, despite the disclaim by legal professionals and members of the judiciary to the contrary. Even educated folk presume that it is their bounden duty to circulate these erroneous messages to all their friends thinking that it is a major development with the country’s leaders finally caring about the female population in our society.

This Section 233  in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 has nothing to do with “Rape”. In fact, it deals with counterfeiting coins. It states:

Making or selling instrument for counterfeiting coin.– Whoever makes or mends, or performs any part of the process of making or mending, or buys, sells or disposes of, any die or instrument, for the purpose of being used, or knowing or having reason to believe that it is intended to be used, for the purpose of counterfeiting coin, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extended to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

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Delhi HC: Having Sex on the False Promise of Marriage Is Rape


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Myself . 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Yashmak

Following a complaint lodged by a widow, the Police arrested Firoz Ahmed under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation). Firoz had consensual sex with the woman after promising her that he would marry her.

Earlier, the trial judge had dismissed Ahmed’s bail application, citing Firoz had obtained the woman’s consent under the pretext of marriage though he never intended to  marrying her.

Justice Kailash Gambhir of the Delhi High Court agreed with the view of the trial judge. He dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Firoz Ahmed since the offence fell under IPC section 375(4), which states that consent for sex obtained under a false pretext also amounts to a rape he upheld the prosecution’s argument that Firoz Ahmed did not deserve a bail.