The Supreme Court will Thursday deliver its judgment on the petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 497 (Adultery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 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.
Hearing the mater, the apex court questioned the government’s stand defending the adultery law that punishes a man for having a sexual relationship with a married woman without the consent of her husband. The petitioners want Section 497 of the IPC, which punishes only a man for the offence of adultery, to be made gender-neutral.
Adultery is a criminal offence in India and the violation of the same can invite penal consequences of imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years, or fine, or both.