SC verdict on adultery law today

SC verdict on adultery law today

The Supreme Court on Thursday will pronounce its judgement on a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of penal provision on adultery.

The Union government opposed it saying the penal provision was necessary to preserve marriage, a sacred institution in the country.

A five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on August 8 reserved the judgement on a PIL filed by Joseph Shine, represented by advocate Kaleeswaram Raj, that contended it was manifestly arbitrary and violated the constitutional provisions.

During the hearing, the court had observed that it treated a woman as chattel as her relationship depended on the “consent or connivance of her husband”.

The court had also indicated that it would not make Section 497, as gender-neutral, that enjoined a maximum five-year jail term for the offence, saying it would create more problem. Adultery can remain as a matrimonial offence but not a criminal one, the court observed.

Section 497 of the IPC states, “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery.”