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Breaking: Decriminalisation Of Adultery Will Destroy The Institution Of Marriage- Centre Seeks Dismissal Of Petitions Challenging S.497 IPC

The Centre has sought dismissal of the petition challenging the vires of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, informing the Supreme Court that the issue is already being deliberated upon by the Law Commission of India.

The Centre’s affidavit begins with it demanding the dismissal of the petition, and asserting that Section 497 “supports, safeguards and protects the institution of marriage”. It submits, “It is submitted that striking down section 497 of IPC and Section 198(2) Cr.P.C. will prove to be detrimental to the intrinsic Indian ethos which gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage. 

The provisions of law under challenge in the present writ have been specifically created by the legislature in its wisdom, to protect and safeguard the sanctity of marriage, keeping in mind the unique structure and culture of the Indian society.”

The affidavit then goes on to inform the Court about the Justice Malimath Committee report, which had suggested making Section 497 gender-neutral way back in March 2003. The recommendation was made in its Report on Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System.

It further informed the Court that the LCI was currently examining the issue by identifying certain focus areas and forming sub-groups to deliberate on such areas. “It is submitted that the final Report of Law Commission is awaited regarding the amendment of Section 497 IPC. The Malimath Committee in its report has held that the object of this section is to preserve the sanctity of the marriage.

The decriminalisation of adultery will result in weakening the sanctity of a marital bond and will result in laxity in the marital bond,” it added.

The Supreme Court had referred the petition challenging the constitutional validity of the adultery law to the Constitution Bench in January this year.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by then Chief Justice YV Chandrachud had, in Smt. Sowmithri Vishnu vs Union Of India & Anr. upheld the constitutionality of the provision.

Three decades later, his son, Justice DY Chandrachud opined during the admission of the case that the wife cannot be treated as a commodity by leaving her at the discretion of her husband to give consent to the act. The Bench headed by the CJI also observed that the provision seems archaic in view of the societal progress made so far.

The bench is therefore set to consider whether earlier judgments, which had upheld the provision, are to be reconsidered, in view of the social progression, perceptual shift, gender equality and gender sensitivity.

Read the Counter Affidavit Here

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  • SANTHOSH ADVOCATE says:

    Section 497 I. P. C treating woman as private property of man. Maintaining this section in statue book is not essential to maintain sanctity of marriage.

  • Kishan Lal says:

    Removing discrimination means making everyone equal there for men and women should be given equal vectors and the circumstances should be deeply and insightfully been studied to conclude the matters in modern society such laws are many times been really misused by so called educated women’s especially and the semi educated women under the impression of other woman relatives friends blah blah blah therefore there should be a system to systematically investigate into the matter before coming to any conclusion practicality and theoretical optimum balance

  • […] Government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that dropping Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code would be a dangerous move. Section 497 of the IPC deals with adultery and the Supreme Court is overhearing a petition filed […]

  • Ravi says:

    Either a woman or man should be punished equally. Aggrieved spouse should be able to file complaint / case against both the man and woman who participated in such extra marital act.

  • D UDAYA KUMAR says:

    Under Section 497 woman should be made liable equally to the man. This discrimination have ruined many lives and families. As am one of the victim of this law I strongly recommend that woman should be made liable under 497. Moreover misuse of section 12 of Domestic violence Act is rapidly increasing. And men are becoming helpless. Our law is so pathetic that it needs proof for everything. In family matters who will keep all the proofs and evidences. Law should be changed and men should get protection.

  • R.Ramya says:

    Totally unfair when a woman whether married or unmarried interferes with a married couples life, destroys their peace but goes unpunished. It is so simple. The harmony of the family is lost. The person who is mentally wounded should be allowed to file a case on the adulterous partner and the person outside wedlock. Is it not mental harassment against the person whose husband or wife is adulterous? Is it OK to harass a person that way? Then why should there be marriage and registration for marriage. I wonder how the learned men are not aware of the pain. Should they have a personal experience?

  • Manav says:

    Adultery is nothing but consensual relationship outside marriage. It has been there since the time immemorial. Having extra marital consensual relations is not an exception these days, therefore we can’t declare the majority as criminals. Even, King Dashrath had three wives, Dropadi had five husbands, Guru Gobind Singh had three wives, and there’s nothing immortal about it. Consensual relationship should not be called adultery, and should be decriminalized.

  • Advocate Krishna. K. S. says:

    Adultery is consensual and Willful act. Equal liability of both Man & Woman. Can’t be treated as a crime. But should and can be a ground for Divorce.

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