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Now Section 377 will be up to parliament: Shashi Tharoor introduces bill to decriminalise gay sex

Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor has introduced a bill that would decriminalise private consensual sexual intercourse between adults by amending the Indian Penal Code’s section 377, reported Mint and others.

The bill, which has been tabled for discussion on 18 December, seeks to amend section 377 to state the following:

Whoever has sexual intercourse with any person under the following circumstances, is said to commit a sexual offence:

(First) Against his will.

(Secondly) Without the person’s consent.

(Thirdly) With the person’s consent, when his consent has been obtained by putting him or any person in whom he is interested, in fear of death or hurt.

(Fourthly) With the person’s consent, when at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, he is unable to understand the nature or consequences of that to which he gives consent.

(Fifthly) With or without the person’s consent when he is under eighteen years of age.

Former Law Commission chairman AP Shah recently criticised the Supreme Court’s upholding of section 377, and called on judges or the legislature to decriminalise non-heterosexual intercourse.

Supreme Court judge Justice GS Singhvi had held in 2013 that section 377 was clear and constitutional and could only be amended by parliament.

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