The Supreme Court delivered an unanimous verdict with all the five judges concurring on a crucial 150-year-old adultery law that considers punishment only to a man and not a married woman for an affair by treating her as a victim and not as an abettor of the offence. "Adultery law arbitrary," said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. Section 497 deprives women of dignity and that women are treated as property of her husband. The court said any provision treating women with inequality is not constitutional and it's time to say that husband is not the master of woman. Adultery will remain a ground for divorce, the bench added.
The centre had, in its defence, claimed that the law should remain valid as it protects the sanctity of marriage. The petition filed against the law was done so on the premise that the law does not treat men and women equally.
A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had reserved its verdict in August. The hearing in the case by the bench, which also comprised justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, went on for six days and had begun on August 1.
Here are the updates of the Supreme Court verdict on Adultery law:
The Supreme Court on Thursday decriminalised adultery after striking down a British era law -- Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code -- terming it as unconstitutional, archaic and manifestly arbitrary.
Supreme Court lawyer Shilpi Jain told IANS that the law was sexist.
"Even 20 years ago, I have said the law should be struck down as it is sexist. It was, no doubt, an archaic law. In today's time, the law was irrelevant, especially when many marriages were broken and divorces take years to happen," she said.
"It was much needed the law is struck down. We have even legitimised live-in relationships and after that is legitimised, how can you question adultery.
"The verdict was the need of the hour and in the modern time, women need some breathing space and by doing away with this the law has given some breathing space to them," Jain added.
Social activist Ranjana Kumari too welcomed the judgment, saying "patriarchal control over women's body unacceptable".
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.
- "Women living under the shadow of husbands has gone"
- Section 497 is clear violation of fundamental rights granted in Constitution
- Section 497 deprives women of dignity
- Women treated as property of her husband
- Section 497 found on the concept women loses her individuality once she is married
- Physicality is an individual choice
- Section 497 denudes women of her choice and disregards her sexual choice
- Adultery is a relic of past
- Law deprives married women the agency of consent
- Man being the seducer and women being the victim no longer exists
- IPC 497 is voilative and quashed
- Section 497 as archaic law, the penal provision is violative of the rights to equality and equal opportunity to women
- Man being the seducer and women being the victim no Longer exits
- Adultery Not A Crime, Rules Supreme Court
- Wife cannot be treated as chattel
- A man having sexual intercourse with a married woman is not a crime
#AdulteryLaw | "There can be no shadow of doubt adultery can be ground for divorce": CJI Dipak Misra reading out the verdict for himself and Justice AM Khanwilkar on the petition challenging the validity of #Adultery law.- NDTV (@ndtv) September 27, 2018
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- Beauty of the Constitution is that it includes "the I, me and you"
- Mere adultery can't be crime unless something is added
- Adultery not a crime in Western European counties, China and few countries
- Adultery creates dent on the individuality of women
- Adultery is a matter of absolute privacy
- Adultery might not be cause of unhappy marriage, it could be result of an unhappy marriage
- Unequal treatment of women invites the wrath of the Constitution
- Equality is the governing parameter of the Constitution
- There can't be any social licence which destroys a home
- Any system treating women with indignity or discrimination invites wrath of constitution
- The magnificent beauty of the democracy is I, you and we: CJI Dipak Misra on the petition challenging the validity of Section 497 (Adultery)
- Any provision treating woman with inequality is not Constitutional, says Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra
- Adultery law arbitrary, says Chief Justice of India
- Equality is the governing principle of a system. Husband is not the master of the wife
- Adultery can be ground for civil issues including dissolution of marriage but it cannot be a criminal offence, says CJI Dipak Misra.