Controversial Sections of the Indian Penal Code
Unnatural Offenses - Section 377
Whoever, voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 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.
Section 377 The Delhi High Court on 2 July 2009 gave a liberal interpretation to this section and laid down that this section can not be used to punish an act of consensual sexual intercourse between two same sex individuals.
Attempt to Commit Suicide
The Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code deals with an unsuccessful attempt to suicide. Attempting to commit suicide and doing any act towards the commission of the offence is punishable with imprisonment up to one year or with fine or with both. Considering long-standing demand and recommendations of the Law Commission of India, which has repeatedly endorsed the repeal of this section, the Government of India in December 2014 decided to decriminalise attempt to commit suicide by dropping Section 309 of IPC from the statute book. Though this decision found favour with most of the states, a few others argued that it would make law enforcement
agencies helpless against people who resort to fast unto death, self-immolation, etc., pointing out the case of anti-AFSPA activist Irom Chanu Sharmila. In February 2015, the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice was asked by the Government to prepare a draft Amendment Bill in this regard.
In an August 2015 ruling, the Rajasthan High Court made the Jain practice of undertaking voluntary death by fasting at the end of a person's life, known as Santhara, punishable under sections 306 and 309 of the IPC. This led to some controversy, with some sections of the Jain community urging the Prime Minister to move the Supreme Court against the order.
The Section 497 of the IPC has been criticised on the one hand for allegedly treating woman as the private property of her husband.
Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (war against the Government of India), 122 (mutiny), 194 (false evidence to procure conviction for a capital offense), 302, 303 (murder), 305 (abetting suicide), 364A (kidnapping for ransom), 364A (banditry with murder), 376A (rape) have death penalty as punishment. There is ongoing debate for abolishing capital punishment.