The Apex Court is now entertaining the PIL seeking decriminalization of the Act of Adultery. The constitution bench will address the question raised in the petition. The petition questions the statutory immunity from prosecution that has been provided to the women for the offense of adultery under the guise of Article 15 (3) of the constitution. The bench, comprising of Chief justice Dipak Misra, Justice RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, stated that making ‘only men’ liable for punishment for the offense of adultery appeared to violate the right to equality before the law under Article 14 of the constitution. The senior counsel appearing for the Petitioner highlighted the history of the adultery as “Brahmanic traditions required a man to maintain rituality, which could not be possible without controlling the sexuality of his wife. The aim was not to protect her bodily integrity but the purity of her husband’s lineage, his caste line.”
As the hearing proceeded, the bench discussed the observation of former Bombay High Court Chief Justice M.C. Chagla on section 497, that it should not find a place in any modern Code of law, that the Days when women were looked upon as property by their husbands are past, and that it was an argument more in favour of doing away with the provision altogether and not in support of under- inclusion of women even as an ‘abettor’. The hearing for the day rests with the concluding remark of Justice Chandrachud, that one retains their sexual autonomy to an extent even after marriage and that the right to say “no” is not forfeited by marriage.
Tags : #India #Legal #IPC #Adultery #WomenMen #OrthodoxIdea #Punishment