Adultery Law in India

Today, Lust has increased so much in the world that it is difficult to differentiate between love and lust. Many come into relationship by saying they love the other person so much but it’s completely a different scenario today. Initially the couple promise a lot to each other and once they get into sex they forget every promise. Its more lust and once any one gets satisfied with other person by having sex then they decide to break up and they forget everything about love what they had told each other before coming together. And then they get into love with other person and the cycle repeats. So, this is what we call as adultery.

Adultery is also termed as extra marital sex. This means that a married man is having sex with the wife of another man. This is considered as objectionable in many parts of the world. Some believe that it is against the culture. Some think that it is very big crime to have sex with the wife of another man. And this was punishable by law in many countries earlier. Some of the punishment includes fine, imprisonment, torture or it can be brutal too. Generally, the man’s part of the body is cut so that he cannot have sex again. As it is considered as a big crime hence such harsh punishments are given.

However, there are countries who have accepted adultery as legal law and given the green signal towards such type of practices. Some jurisdictions have not considered this as crime as they think that it’s against the right to equality and right to freedom. These countries think that as long as the wife’s husband has his consent that her wife can have sex with any other man then Adultery is not punishable. But, if consent is not there from wife’s husband then husband can file a divorce case against his wife. And then in that case Adultery is punishable and the wife will be fined and also imprisoned. These people also analyzed that a woman has to suffer a lot in such type of cases such as the cases of divorce in case of false allegation of sex with the other person. It can ruin the life of a women. And this is why amendments in the article was demanded by the people.

In India, Adultery is defined as a man having sex with other man’s wife without his consent or her consent. It is considered as illegal under the section of 497 in the India penal code. Earlier, if such type of practices occurs then the man and the wife of other man were punished if found even with the consent of both parties. And then it was seen that women were the ones who were the losers. Also some law of equality and law of freedom was felt as taken away from women. There were two article which were questioned. These were article 14 and article 15.

Article 14 states that the state cannot deny the equality of any one in the territory. This means every individual should be treated as equal irrespective of caste, sex, religion or state. Also the state shall provide equal protection of the laws in the territory.  This means that the law is same for all and should be treated in the same way as everyone irrespective of gender, caste, religion or state.

Article 15 deals with discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, caste, religion, sex, place of birth or state.

A petition was signed after so many debates and discussions on the issue of Adultery and was presented in the court. The court heard the discussions and all the debates happened on 1 August 2018. It was decided that if anyone can prove the fact that article 14 and article 15 violates the section 497 then Adultery will be considered as punishable offence. On, 27 September 2018, a five-member jury of supreme court made amendment in the section.

And the new section 497 states that if a man is having sex with wife of other man then it is punishable if the consent is not taken from the wife’s husband or wife herself. Also, if found cheated, the husband can file case of divorce against the wife and can also file the case of custody of their children.

Hence, this was the revolution where extramarital sex was no longer illegal in India and can be done with the consent of both the parties. Some still believe that it is not good for the culture so for them the idea of divorce was introduced so that they won’t feel bad and can come out of the marriage if feel cheated.

This article is authored by Shubhangi Ranjan, student of B.B.A.LL.B at Bharati Vidyapeeth, New Law College.

Also Read – Adultery, No More A Crime! 

Law Corner

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