Legal Journey of Section 377- A Relentless Battle of Expression and Recognition

By Abhiudaya Verma, Research Associate, Policy

The legal fight in Singapore against Section 377A of Singapore Penal Code, which can be called a close counterpart of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), is set to go further. On March 30th, 2020 the High Court of Singapore dismissed the plea to declare section 377A of Singapore Penal Code as unconstitutional. While upholding the law that criminalises homosexual activities between males in Singapore, the country’s Supreme Court judge also made few remarks in the Indian context saying ” I am unable to agree with the reasoning of the Indian Supreme Court given that the court appeared to have accepted a wider meaning of what constitutes “expression”, extending beyond verbal communication of ideas, opinions or beliefs”. The Indian Supreme Court on 6th September, 2018 ‘read down’ Section 377 of the IPC, making consensual sexual activity between adults no longer a criminal offence, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. For a country like India where public decency and morality plays a major role in deciding judgements, it was a fairly long and tough legal battle for arriving at this historic judgement. We have tried to trace the origins and the path that this legal battle took against Section 377 by enlisting a brief  history of its legal journey. (more…)

Nagaland under AFSPA Shelter: An Ongoing Saga

By Kartik Pathania, Amity Law School, Delhi.

Disturbed area is an area where any magistrate or police officer of the rank of Sub-Inspector or Head Constable of Armed Police have been given the right to fire or otherwise use force even to the point of causing death, against any person who is indulging in any activity which results in a serious breach of public order. (more…)

Rohingya Deportation Issue: Revamping the right to life?

By Kaushiki Kar, South Calcutta Law College, Kolkata.

Right to life is one of the basic human rights and not even the State has the authority to violate that right. Protection of life and personal liberty in India means: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. In Maneka Gandhi vs UOI, 1978, it was established that Article 21 though couched in negative language, confers on every person the fundamental right to life and personal liberty which has become an inexhaustible source of many other rights. These rights are as much available to non-citizens as to citizens (National Human Rights Commission vs. State of Arunachal Pradesh (1996 ). (more…)

To Die or Not to Die, is the Question

By Pragya Dhoundiyal, Law Center-1, Faculty of Law, Delhi University.

Right to Life is a right of wide import. This right has always been a bone of contention because defining its limits and the ingredients of this particular right depends on the interpretation and understanding of life of the person who is analyzing it. (more…)

Capital Punishment: A Crime for a Crime?

By Shruti Sharma, Campus Law Centre, Delhi University.

The killing of a human being by another human being is generally known as Homicide. But not all killings of human beings are Homicidal or rather illegal. Some killings are absolutely legal and enforceable and are better known as Capital Punishments, i.e., execution of the offender. The term Capital Punishment can be defined as a lawful infliction of death upon a person. (more…)

Struggle for Dignity: The Voice of Queer Peripheral

By Ankit Sharma, Siddhartha Law College, Dehradun.

 “Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?”
                                                                                                                                             Ernest Gaines

Should the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender collectively known as ‘THE LGBT’ community in India continue to remain in the shadow of criminality? The de-criminalisation of homosexuality is now a myth. The Supreme Court of India has overturned a reading of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code and refused to review it or even to peruse it. Could this intolerance go so far as to allow for state tolerated slaughters against queer people? Or will it restrict itself to “merely” vigorously opposing the repeal of Section 377? Will this be going to Parliament to figure out the rights of LGBT community? Can’t Parliament take action? These are few questions which are yet to be answered. These questions reminds me the dilemma during the emergency when the SC fell in line in the Habeas Corpus case to hold that Indira Gandhi could even suspend the right to life, has it let down the cause of personal liberty as much as it has done in the Naz Foundation Case on 11.12.2013.[1] (more…)

Being Tough on Terrorism or Respecting Human Rights Laws

By Sneha Baul, CLC, Faculty of Law, Delhi University.


Human Rights are the inherent rights, which are basic, fundamental and pervasive in nature. With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and a series of other multilateral treaties and other declarations concluded through the United Nations, the human rights had been recognized universally beyond the peripheries of the nations. Articles 55 & 56 of UN Charter impose upon United Nations and its members respectively, obligations to promote and observe human rights. But the challenges against enforcement and non-violation of human rights are massive and dire. This hindrance is due to the encroaching terrorism and its consequences, which violate the human rights and the rule of law. Human rights and terrorism are correlated as it concerns both its victims and perpetrators.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the human beings. But terrorism violates this right of dignity of victims, which is enshrined in Article 3 of UDHR. It does not end with the plight of the victims; rather the suspected perpetrators also suffer in the course of apprehension and prosecution. (more…)