After pronouncing its verdict on Section 377 and Aadhaar scheme, the Supreme Court today announced its judgment on crucial Section 497 - Adultery Law.
A 5-judge Constitutional bench led by CJI Dipak Misra, which also comprised justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, has read out verdict on a 150-year-old adultery law that considers punishment only to a man and not a married woman for an affair by treating her as a victim and not as an abettor of the offence. The centre, in its defense, claimed that the law should remain valid as it protects the sanctity of marriage.
Sec 497 of IPC is arbitrary, ruled Supreme Court in a historic verdict. "Husband is not the master of wife. Women should be treated in equality with men," said CJI Dipak Mishra & Justice Khanwilkar while reading out the crucial verdict. The bench ruled that Adultery is not a crime and a man having sexual intercourse with a married woman shouldn't be punished. "There can be no shadow of doubt adultery can be ground for divorce," said the CJI.
Takeaways from Verdict on IPC 497
Adultery Not A Crime, Rules Supreme Court
Wife cannot be treated as husband's property
A man having sexual intercourse with a married woman is not a crime
Man being the seducer and women being the victim no longer exists
IPC 497 is violative and quashed
Section 497 deprives women of dignity