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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Centre Tells SC To Let Adultery Remain A Punishable Offence, Or Else It Will Erode The Sanctity Of Marriage

  • IWB Post
  •  July 12, 2018

A PIL had been filed in the Supreme Court by a man called Joseph Shine who sought to strike down Section 497. that makes only men accountable for adultery, or else make both men and women equally liable for the offense of adultery. But the Centre, on Wednesday, told the SC that removing the provision will destroy the institution of marriage.

It also said that men and women cannot be seen as equals in the crime of adultery. “Striking down of the provision would tantamount to decriminalizing the offence of adultery, thereby eroding the sanctity of marriage and the fabric of society at large,” the Centre said.

“Section 497 of IPC supports, safeguards and protects the institution of marriage,” the Centre added. But it admitted that the Law Commission needs to amend the provision suitably as removing the law would just encourage the adulterous behavior. “Decriminalisation of adultery will result in weakening the sanctity of a marital bond and will result in laxity in the marital bond.”

The petition also challenges the validity of Section 198 (1) and (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as it only deems a  husband as the aggrieved party in offences against marriage like adultery and that only he can go to court.

The Centre said, “Striking down of Section 497 of IPC and Section 198(2) of the CrPC 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 PIL, 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 Indian society.”

The final report of the law commission is awaited regarding the amendment to Section 497.

As for the SC, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, in January, referred the PIL to a five-judge bench. “The provision seems quite archaic and especially, when there is a societal progress,” it had said.

H/T: The Times Of India

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