ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Denial of Rights to Sexual Minorities

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code must be repealed because it denies constitutional rights to sexual minorities.

One of the crimes of the State in independent India is that it has continued to retain on its statutes many laws that were enacted by the colonial government. High on the list of laws that reflect the need to control is Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Section 377 holds that carnal intercourse “against the order of nature” will be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term extending to 10 years and may be accompanied by a fine. This provision of the IPC is rarely enforced against non-heterosexuals, but its criminality lies in its widespread use by lower-level police officials to blackmail, extort payments and in general for harassment. The fear of prosecution is enough to ensure that sexual minorities cannot lead their lives openly.

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