Nation Current Affairs 09 Aug 2018 Centre backs provisi ...

Centre backs provision on adultery in Supreme Court

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 9, 2018, 12:48 am IST
Updated Aug 9, 2018, 12:48 am IST
A five-judge Constitution bench reserved verdict at the conclusion of arguments from the Centre.
Supreme Court
 Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the 157-year-old adultery law, viz. IPC Section 497 punishing only man and not a married woman for adultery by treating her as a victim and not an abettor of crime.

A five-judge Constitution bench reserved verdict at the conclusion of arguments from the Centre. The Centre at the outset defended the validity of section 497 of IPC in SC saying adultery is a crime because it damages marriage and family and hence a public wrong.

 

Appearing for Centre, additional solicitor general Pinky Anand said India must evolve our laws according to the societal developments and not go by what happens in western countries. She said the idea of Section 497 is not to enforce monogamy but to protect fidelity.

Justice Chandrachud intervened and said, “Why should the burden of maintaining the sanctity of marriage must always rest on the woman and not the husband. Even if the Legislature makes Section 497 gender neutral, it only addresses the question of under inclusion; we still have to decide whether it should be a crime.”

 

The CJI asked, “What is the public good this provision served as it provides that no offence would be made if the husband of a woman approves the adulterous relationship. Sustenance of a relationship in a marriage is based on the parties together.”

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