Earlier this month, former Rajasthan-cadre IPS officer Pankaj Chaudhary was dismissed from service for an alleged extra-marital affair. He has challenged his dismissal at the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
Adultery will continue as a ground of divorce and, therefore, remain in civil law. Thursday’s verdict will be welcomed by those who believe there should be less use of criminal law in matrimonial matters.
Supreme Court verdict on adultery: The petition seeking the repeal of Section 497 IPC was filed by Joseph Shine, who termed the 158-year-old law "unjust, illegal and arbitrary and violative of citizens’ fundamental rights".
The bench was deciding a petition filed by Joseph Shine, a businessman from Kerala who lives in Italy. He was represented by Kochi-based advocates Kaleeswaram Raj and his daughter Thulasi K Raj and Delhi-based advocate Suvidutt Sundaram.
Thirty-three years after his father, the then Chief Justice, had upheld the validity of adultery law, Justice D Y Chandrachud overruled it on Thursday saying the earlier view cannot be regarded as "correct exposition" of the constitutional position.
Adultery verdict today: A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had referred the matter to a Constitution bench on the plea claiming that it is discriminatory towards men. The bench had reserved its judgment in August.