Supreme Court
Supreme Court

SC starts hearing on constitutional validity of adultery law

ANI | Updated: Aug 01, 2018 23:48 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 1 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday started hearing a petition seeking to make men and women equally liable under the offence of adultery, under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The five-judge Constitution Bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, is hearing the petition filed by a businessman, Joseph Shine.
Section 497 of the IPC, punishes only the married man who establishes sexual relationship with a married woman, without the consent of her husband, but not a woman.
Further, if the husband of the woman gives his consent for sexual intercourse with another man, the law does not recognise it as an offence.
The petitioner has argued that section 497 of the IPC should be stricken down as it is unconstitutional, unjust, illegal, arbitrary and violates fundamental rights.
Shine, in his petition, further claimed that the apex court should intervene and pass a direction to strike down Section 198 (2) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).
On July 11, the Centre opposed the petition filed by Shine in the matter.
The central government in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court argued that Section 497 of the IPC was enacted to safeguard the sanctity of marriage and diluting it would be detrimental to matrimonial bond.
The apex court in December last year issued a notice to the Centre asking why a married woman who is equally liable for the offence of adultery with a married man, who is not her husband, be not punished along with the man. (ANI)