An analysis of Section 377, Indian Penal Code

Priyal Motwani


The section 377 of the Indian Penal Code punishes the voluntary carnal intercourse against the order of the nature with any man, woman or animal or aims at punishing non procreative sexual activity that now implies sexual perversity. This paper aims to deeply analyse the philosophical arguments in the favour of reading down and against the reading down of the section from the Indian Penal Code. It also elaborates on homosexuality and its relation to the public health system.


Indian Penal Code; Section 377; Mill’s Harm Principle; Wolfenden Report; Hart; Devline

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Great Britain. Committee on Homosexual Offences, & Prostitution. (1963). The Wolfenden report: report of the Committee on Homosexual Offenses and Prostitution. Stein and Day.

Harcourt, B. E. (1999). The collapse of the harm principle. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-), 90(1), 109-194.



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