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Title: The wife as an accomplice: section 377 and the regulation of sodomy in marriage in India
Authors: Mandal, Saptarshi
Keywords: Indian Penal Code
Indian divorce law
Issue Date: 13-Apr-2016
Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell
Citation: Mandal, Saptarshi. (2016). The wife as an accomplice: section 377 and the regulation of sodomy in marriage in India. Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol 46 No 1: 33-48
Abstract: Dominant judicial construction posits s 377 of the Indian Penal Code as embodying a neutral prohibition of socially disapproved sexual acts, that applies to persons irrespective of their sexual identity, orientation or legal status. This article refutes this proposition by examining the legal regulation of sodomy within marriage in India. By comparing the legal regulation of sexual acts referred to as “unnatural sex” by s 377 with the regulation of the same set of sexual acts within marriage, by Indian divorce law and Indian rape law, the article highlights the exceptional treatment of what is otherwise deemed “unnatural”. In the process, the article seeks to uncover a lesser-known legacy of colonial (sexual) governance in contemporary India: the idea of consensual sodomy within marriage, which also casts the wife as an “accomplice”.
ISSN: 0378-0600
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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