Adultery law: "A man having sexual intercourse with a married woman is not a crime"
New Delhi: Adultery is not a crime anymore in India, but it can be grounds for divorce, the Supreme Court said today. In past hearings, the Supreme Court had asked the centre how the 158-year-old law preserved the sanctity of marriage when the extramarital affair becomes non-punishable if the woman's husband stands by her. The government has defended the law, saying adultery must remain a crime so that the sanctity of marriage can be protected, after a petition called for the law to be scrapped as it does not treat men and women equally.
Here's are the top quotes from today's verdict on adultery:
- "In case of adultery, criminal law expects people to be loyal, which is a command, which gets into the realm of privacy."
- "A man having sexual intercourse with a married woman is not a crime."
- "Man being the seducer and women being the victim no longer exits. Equality is the governing principle of a system. Husband is not the master of the wife."
- "To attach criminality to something happening in the four walls of privacy is wrong. Law cannot distinguish between man and woman when both have equal role."
- "Any law which affects individual dignity, equity of women in a civilised society invites the wrath of the Constitution."
- "Sexual autonomy of woman cannot be compromised. It's a result of patriarchal society. It's her right and there cannot be any condition imposed on her. Chastity is not for woman alone as it is also equally applicable to husband."
- "It's illogical to say sexual act is not an offence if it's done with his (husband's) consent."
- Adultery might not be the cause of an unhappy marriage; it could be the result of one.
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