Adultery: Section 497 IPC | Dent on the individual identity?

Supreme Court: The 5-Judge Constitution Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, Dr DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, JJ., commenced with the proceedings on reconsideration of the judgments on the Constitutional validity of Section 497 IPC that brings adultery into the box of criminalization.

The 3-Judge Bench of CJI Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar and Dr DY Chandrachud, JJ. had referred the said matter to the Constitution Bench in Joseph Shine v. Union of India, (2018) 2 SCC 189 on 05-01-2018. In the mentioned case, the bench was of the opinion that Section 497 IPC creates a dent on the individual identity of the woman as:

the fulcrum of the offence is destroyed once the consent or the connivance of the husband is established. Viewed from the said scenario, the provision really creates a dent on the individual independent identity of a woman when the emphasis is laid on the connivance or the consent of the husband. This tantamounts to subordination of a woman where the Constitution confers equal status. A time has come when the society must realise that a woman is equal to a man in every field.”

The Supreme Court has put up the matter for further hearing on 02-08-2018 after partly hearing the matter today. [Joseph Shine v. Union of India,  2018 SCC OnLine SC 783, order dated 01-08-2018]

One comment

  • Either the woman should also be punishable for the offence or neither of them should be punished. What happens if a woman(married or unmarried) has a sexual relationship with another married man? Isn’t that adultery too.. but it’s not treated like that

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