Adultery is now legal in India

Adultery is now legal in India

Adultery is now legal in India

Also read: India's lopsided adultery law - Adverse impact of patriarchy on men or women?

"Adultery can be ground for divorce and a person will have civil remedies for it".

Supreme Court has stated that if any of the spouse would commit suicide because of the adulterous relationship by the other spouse, then one would be able to prosecute under section 306 which relates to Abetment of Suicide. The offence of adultery entailed a maximum punishment of five years, or with fine, or both.

The Supreme Court delivered judgments interpreting laws to expand the ambit of fundamental rights.

The CJI, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice AM Khanwilkar, said the section was "manifestly arbitrary", archaic and violative of the rights to equality and equal opportunity to women and struck it down as unconstitutional.

The five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra had reserved the verdict in August on a petition seeking to make men and women equally liable for adultery.

Like Chaitanya Gowda, who claimed his wife was having an affair and he had been collecting evidence against her and her lover for the last eight years.

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Convictions for adultery are very rare because of the social stigma, and mostly families resolve matters among themselves, Supreme Court lawyer Utsav Bains told AFP.

The court upheld the legality of the crime in 1954, arguing that in adultery "it is commonly accepted that it is the man who is the seducer, and not the women".

Adultery might not be the cause of an unhappy marriage, it could be result of an unhappy marriage, Justice Misra said. Section 497 under the IPC implied that a woman's body is not her own and, on a whole, it denied women: 1. the right to her body in the form of agency, autonomy and independence; and 2. the object of desire and sexual autonomy.

The law basically said that, whoever has sexual intercourse with someone else's wife, without the husband's consent, is guilty of the offence of adultery. But, in a turn of events, the Supreme Court of India unanimously ruled to remove the 158-year old law from the Indian Penal Code (IPC). It states that a woman, by marriage, "consents in advance to sexual relations with her husband or to refrain from sexual relations outside marriage without the permission of her husband is offensive to liberty and dignity" - such a notion has "no place in the constitutional order".

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi raked up the issue of triple talaq, saying the Supreme Court decriminalised sections 377 and 497, but it had just "set aside" the practice of instant divorce among Muslims, and the government made it a penal offence through an ordinance. "Women should be treated with equality along with men", Chief Justice Dipak Misra said earlier in the day. Section 497 denuded the woman from making choices.

"A woman can not be asked to think as a man or as how the society desires".

Adultery is prohibited in Sharia or Islamic Law, so it is a criminal offence in Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.

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