At least 750 cases were registered and 600 people arrested under Section 377 of Indian Penal Code in 2014 after Supreme Court struck down 2009 Delhi High Court verdict which decriminalised homosexuality.
According to Home Ministry statistics, the country witnessed registration of 778 cases and 587 arrests under Section 377 until October.
However, these numbers don’t provide the complete picture as some states including Karnataka and West Bengal, have not submitted data to the central agencies while other states have not given data for all the months.
While states like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh submitted data until October, Delhi, which topped the list with 140 cases and 110 arrests, has submitted the figures only till September. Uttar Pradesh, which is in the second position with 127 cases and 36 arrests, has provided data for the first six months of the year.
Haryana and Maharashtra also have high number of cases with 99 and 98 respectively. Hundred people were arrested in Maharashtra while Haryana put 89 behind the bars under this provision.
Kerala with 69 cases and 64 arrests and Madhya Pradesh with 64 cases and 48 arrests are two other states, which had high numbers with regard to Section 377.
The practice of collecting the data related to Section 377 was started only this year.
The National Crime Records Bureau has said that it has started collecting the data under the monthly crime statistics from January 2014 and does not have statistics for the previous years. Describing Section 377 as something that takes away their dignity, privacy and rights, the LGBT community has approached the apex court seeking annulment of its order.
The LGBT community also appealed to the government to repeal the section from the IPC but Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary has recently told Parliament that the Centre has no “separate proposal to repeal or amend Section 377”.
by Shemin Joy, New Delhi
Source – Deccan Herald