We The People: Should Adultery Be A Crime At All?

  • 50:42
  • Published On: August 12, 2018
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The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a PIL challenging India's adultery law. Currently, according to the 157-year-old section 497 of the IPC, a man can be punished with up to five years in prison, for having an affair with a married woman if it was without her husband's permission. As it stands, the woman in the case cannot be punished as she isn't viewed as an active agent, rather as a man's property. Also, a married woman doesn't have the right to file criminal charges if her husband is the one having an affair. The government has asked the court not to change the law but make it gender neutral to protect the sanctity of marriage. While the National Commission for Women has asked it be made a civil offence, as it's between two individuals. While the Court's final decision is awaited, the justices have already observed the law is anti-women and it's archaic. This issue must also be looked at in relation to privacy. Today, we take a look at some of the issues this case has raised. In an age when the relationship landscape has changed and conventional labels may no longer apply, should adultery even be a crime at all?

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