Section 377 can be put in simple terms as Unnatural offences.
It states that: “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.”
Putting it simple- In this law Penetration (related to sexual) is sufficient to comprise the adequacy of offence this law provides in Unnatural cases.
The law which dates back to British era times way back in 1861 is obsolete in today’s scenario and it criminalises sexual activities which include unnatural sex which included , gay, lesbian and human to animal sexual union , involving penile insertion.
The Delhi High Court in a landmark judgment, in 2009, described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
But in 2013 Apex court has overruled the Delhi High Court’s order & reinforced criminalization of homosexuality stating that Parliament’s job was to scrap laws. This judgment was highly criticized by LGBTQ community in India and was considered as a setback for human rights.
It gathered much steam then for the scrapping of Section 377 among some elite sections of the society and related ones.
Later, Supreme Court agreed to review its decision in the Suresh Kumar Koushal case and referred the curative petitions filed against the decision to a five-judge constitution bench.
Referring to the some past related SC judgment where Supreme court has laid down that the choice of partner is part of Article 21 (Hadiya judgment) and the partner would include same-sex partner too”, many eminent people came out in favor of scrapping this age old archaic law.
As rightly been said what was moral way back in old days can be immoral considering the recent situation. Change is the law of nature and manmade laws are no exception, so its must been reviewed and changed considering the larger interest of the society.
News Source: Indian Express & Hindustan Times