Adultery law: SC ruling to help build healthier relationships

28 September, 2018, 14:23 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • DCW Chairperson condemns SC ruling on adultery calls it'anti-women decision

A five-bench judge comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra gave a unanimous verdict to decriminalise adultery.

Adultery is no longer a crime in India because of a ruling Thursday by country's highest court.

I welcome the judgement of the Supreme Court striking down the 158-year-old law based on Victorian values. On the criminal side, mere adultery can not be a crime unless it attracts the scope of Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code relating to abetment of suicide, where the wife's adultery becomes a cause for the husband to kill himself. The more than century-old law prescribed that any man who slept with a married woman without her husband's permission had committed adultery, a crime carrying a five-year prison term in the conservative country. Women having affairs could not be prosecuted, but they also couldn't file a complaint against cheating husbands.

The top court emphatically endorsed the right of a woman to explore her own sexuality, asserting that a wife is not a "chattel" of a husband. Misra met with the dissenting judges, who continued on the bench. Section 497 prevents women from making choices and held that this provision is a relic from the past.

Businessman Joseph Shine challenged the court to strike down the law, arguing it was discriminatory against women and arbitrary. Equality is the governing principle of a system.

The apex court noted that Section 497 on the one hand, protects a woman (accused of adultery) and on the other, does not protect the other woman, namely the wife of the adulterous man. "A husband is not the master of his wife".

Rejecting the contention of the Centre, the court said: "The ostensible object of Section 497, as pleaded by the State, being to protect and preserve the sanctity of marriage, is not in fact the object of Section 497 at all...."


However, India's ruling BJP government had opposed the petition, insisting that adultery should remain a criminal offence.

The hotelier, who has been reluctant to speak about the case, told the newspaper why he fought all the way to abolish the adultery law.

In 2015, South Korea's Constitutional Court struck down an adultery law, sending shares in condom maker Unidus soaring.

The law dictated that the woman could not be punished as an abettor. "The emphasis on the element of connivance or consent of the husband tantamount to subordination of women".

And although there is no information on actual convictions under the law, Kaleeswaram Raj, a lawyer for the petitioner, said the adultery law was "often misused" by husbands during matrimonial disputes such as divorce, or civil cases relating to wives receiving maintenance.

While the law allows the aggrieved husband of the married woman in an adulterous relationship to file a complaint, it does not extend the same right to an aggrieved woman if her husband is found to be in an adulterous relationship.

Recommended:



Popular

Donald Trump blasts Iran for sowing 'chaos, death, destruction'
Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani , told a news conference near the U.N. that the sanctions violate a U.N. And we also have to help all those that have invested and believed in this opening.

Breaking Down The Kavanaugh Hearings | On Point
One, Deborah Ramirez , told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were both students at Yale. But when it became clear Kavanaugh would likely be named to the court, she said she faced a hard choice.

Danny Welbeck happy to wait for Premier League start at Arsenal
Brentford pulled a goal back two minutes before the hour through Alan Judge, who curled home a free-kick from just outside the box.

Nana Patekar Responds to Tanushree Dutta’s Harassment Allegation
Something did happen that day because the shooting was also stalled for over three hours. So in the midst of all the controversy, the actor is shooting this multi-starrer comedy.

Paul Ryan Urges GOP to Let Trump Decide Rosenstein's Future
Kurd " during a marathon press conference following the United Nations General Assembly in NY . Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

Instagram co-founders to exit the company
Facebook's shares were down 2.4% at $161.51 in early trading yesterday, knocking more than $11bn off the stock's market value. Instagram has also largely remained insulated from the issues plaguing its parent company, and it continues to grow.

Second woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
There were no immediate indications that the emergence of a second accuser had fatally wounded Kavanaugh's prospects. Ford says she feared Kavanaugh might inadvertently kill her before she managed to get away.

Bill Cosby Sent To Prison For Three To 10 Years
Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004. Constand, who is 45, was Temple University's women's basketball administrator at the time of the assault .

Mohamed Salah wins the FIFA Puskas Award
Lyon have been European champions for the past three years, while they have won the French title every year since 2006. Modric defeated the duo of Mohammad Salah of Liverpool and Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo to emerge the victor .

49ers to work out former Texans quarterback
On Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL , thus ending his season . Now the 49ers will have to go back to life before Garoppolo for the rest of the season.