Every year, Google gets billions of searches across different platforms and genres from millions of users from around the globe. It then releases a list of most searched queries under different topics at the end of every year.
Interestingly, Google’s “Year in Search 2018” reveals that “what is section 377” searches topped the “what is…” search category.
Section 377 penalised unnatural sex or sexual activities “against the order of nature”— a phrase which has not been defined in law. However, having been modelled on the English Buggery Act of 1553, the provision has been understood to penalise sodomy and any form of sexual activity which would not ordinarily result in procreation.
The provision was read down in September this year, after a legal battle that continued for over a decade, by a five-Judge Constitution bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, RF Nariman and Indu Malhotra. The provision was struck down to the extent it criminalized consensual sexual acts between adults, whether homosexual or heterosexual. However, bestiality still continues to be an offence.