Section 377, which originates from the Indian Penal Code that was imposed by the British colonial rulers, criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. This provision applies only to sexual intercourse between men.1
Types of criminalisation
- Criminalises sex between men
- Death penalty
Commonwealth member state
1. Penal Code 1860, S. 377 Unnatural Offences
“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 shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.” Full text.
2. Hudood Ordinance 1979, S. 4 Zina
A man and a woman are said to commit ‘Zina‘ if they wilfully have sexual intercourse without being married to each other.
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of Zina.
5. Zina liable to hadd
(1) Zina is zina liable to hadd if-
(a) it is committed by a man who is an adult and is not insane with a woman to whom he is not, and does not suspect himself to be married; or
(b) it is committed by a woman who is an adult and is not insane with a man to whom she is not, and does not suspect herself to be, married.
(2) Whoever is guilty of Zina liable to hadd shall, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, –
(a) if he or she is a muhsan, be stoned to death at a public place; or
(b) if he or she is not muhsan, be punished, at a public place; with whipping numbering one hundred stripes.
(3) No punishment under sub-section (2) shall be executed until it has been confirmed by the Court to which an appeal from the order of conviction lies; and if the punishment be of whipping; until it is confirmed and executed, the convict shall be dealt with in the same manner as if sentenced to simple imprisonment.” Full text.