New Delhi: In a first, the Delhi Police have registered a case of molestation on the complaint given by a ‘male’ student of Delhi University against a fellow male student. 

This case is the first of its kind, especially after the Supreme Court verdict decriminalising section 377. According to West Delhi Police, a case has been registered in Rajouri Garden police station under IPC section 354A against a 2nd-year student. The victim has also challenged the constitutional validity of some sub-sections of IPC section 354A in the Delhi high court.

The victim filed a writ petition which is pending in Delhi high court, because they wanted to use a feminine name on every legal document instead of their legal name. The court has ruled in their favour and has ordered that their feminine name should be used everywhere. The court has instructed the Delhi Police of the same as well and has changed their name mentioned in the title of the writ petition.

The cops also faced a tough time to find the appropriate sections and consulted a legal team. After deliberation, the court cleared the air that section 354A is gender neutral and can be slapped even on a complaint filed by anyone who identifies as male, female or third gender. 

Confirming the development, DCP West, Monika Bharadwaj refused to divulge any details regarding the case and said, "A case has been registered against the accused student under the relevant IPC section; an investigation is on."

According to the complainant, when they were 12-years-old, they realised that most of the time they felt out of place in their body. "At the age of 12, I realised that I have like to behave like a girl. I wanted to live and act like a girl," said Pooja (victim’s name changed).

In their college, Pooja met a male student who used to tell them that Pooja is male and started teasing and misbehaving with the victim. The victim also filed a complaint with the college disciplinary committee but they were not convinced with the action taken. Later, they filed a police complaint against the accused student.

'Supreme Court order gives power to the victim'

According to sources, the victim told the cops that the Supreme court order which decriminalised section 377 gave them the power to face the world and motivated them to file a case in the high court challenging constitutional validity of section 354A. They also rigorously pursued the case in the college committee, as well as in the court.

What was the apex court’s order on section 377?

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on September 6 unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, giving equal rights to everyone.

Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says 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 may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.

The bench termed the part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises unnatural sex as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.