Both Men & Women Responsible For Adultery: CJI


New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra on Thursday observed that both men and women are equally responsible for act of adultery.

“Both the parties have to be equally responsible for their act,” said Justice Misra during the course of the hearing on a petition filed by a businessman, Joseph Shine, which sought to make men and women equally liable for the offence of adultery, under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The five-judge Constitution Bench of the top court, headed by CJI Misra and comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, is hearing the petition.

Section 497 of the IPC, punishes only the married man who establishes a sexual relationship with a married woman, without the consent of her husband, but not a woman.

Further, if the husband of the woman gives his consent for sexual intercourse with another man, the law does not recognise it as an offence.

The petitioner has argued that Section 497 of the IPC should be struck down, claiming that it is unconstitutional, unjust, illegal, arbitrary and violates fundamental rights.

Shine, in his petition, further claimed that the apex court should intervene and pass a direction to strike down Section 198 (2) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).