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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Adultery is no longer a crime - does this change a married couple's relationship?

    With adultery no longer considered to be a criminal offence, will the dynamics of a marital relationship change? How will it affect relationships between a married couple?

    Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, in a judgment delivered today, has struck down adultery as an offence under Section 497 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which used to punish only a married man for having a consensual sexual relationship with a married woman without consent or connivance of her husband. The Apex Court has observed that adultery as a criminal offence under Section 497 of IPC is absolutely arbitrary.

    The Hon'ble Court has however said that adultery can be seen as a ground for dissolution of marriage. But, if any aggrieved spouse commits suicide because of life partner's adulterous relation and if evidence is produced, it could be treated as abetment to suicide.

    Members! What is your view on this landmark judgment? Will it save the marriage, or will it further complicate the husband-wife relationship?
  • #649270
    I didn't know that, "which used to punish only a married man for having a consensual sexual relationship with a married woman without consent or connivance of her husband". This again has depicted the biased attitude of the society. However, it's a good sign that at least in the eye of the law this doesn't remained a crime but for a society this can even be the same as it was earlier. In addition, the court has stated that, "Any law which affects individual dignity, equity of women in a civilized society invites the wrath of the Constitution" & as this law doesn't treat men and women equally & therefore scrapping of it is welcome.

  • #649274
    What I feel that some relations get diverted even though the intentions were not so. For that the court cannot interfere and say anything. It is the mutual understanding that works.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #649278
    But my question is whether this judgment would influence/affect the conjugal life of modern-day couples. If yes, then how?
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #649284
    Yes it is going to affect the congenial life of modern day couples when they get drifted away by miss understanding and small quarrel flare up to the parting ways.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #649292
    Whether there will be a change in the married couple's life or not, the man in the relationship will not be punished as was the case previously. In a relationship outside marriage, both the man and woman will be equally responsible. The previous assumption that the man is the seducer and the woman is the victim is far from reality. Now, this is set right due to the judgement.
    Mahabharata acknowledged adultery. The story of Swetaketu is an example of this. Swetaketu questions his father as to why he is not having any problem with his wife(Swetaketu mother) going out with different men. His father says that this is how the world has always been. Human beings are polygamous.' Shwetaketu after growing up enacts monogamy.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #649294
    It seems to be a momentous judgement and has rather pleased the married men involving the sexual - activities with some married men. However, such relationship may not go smooth all the time and it may have a deteriorating effect in terms of relationship with the husband and off - springs putting the married women in an unbearable tension. Mental peace of the entire family will be distorted and such end - result has not been discussed. Sexual pleasure may momentarily add pleasure but its ramification in the long run has to be seen.
    We have to look after our family as well where maintenance of peace is absolutely essential and this alone can offer the off- springs the conducive - environment essential for mental - growth.

  • #649308
    It's a landmark judgement that upholds the fundamental right. Last year the apex court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right by completely deviating from a judgement in 1976 that didn't recognize privacy as a fundamental right. The adultery law under section 497 was completely biased as it gave the husband of a woman all the power to decide on her privacy. The law permitted men to file complaint but the women were not permitted.

    The marriage between a man and a woman is a relationship based on understanding. Any consensual sexual relation involves both sexes and you cannot make the person of one sex guilty in that. There are few aspects in a marriage like, love, respect and sex. When all these aspects are fulfilled, then there cannot be any threat in the marriage, but if there is any lacking then the problem starts. Because of intolerance, there are many instances of separation, but a biased law like adultery will have little effect on marriages.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #649313
    Very good responses from Mr. Jha and Mr. Bhattacharya. However, at the same time, I think that this judgment has not taken into account the misery/tension/stigma being suffered by young children of the adulterous couple.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #649325
    Traditionally adultery is seen as a bad thing in the society and still, it can bring the social reputation of a person down.

    Frankly speaking, it is the physical lust and unwanted natural attraction which leads to such actions.

    The present legal verdict is only giving solace to the persons, doing adultery, to the extent that they do not feel guilty concious out of this.

    Another aspect is on an average males are found to be doing adultery much more than the women and will be benefited by these relaxations.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #649327
    #649313, In response to this the court had two options, either to punish the both or to let them free. As there is no force involved in it, the court judgment found it good to let them free. This is to be noted that the decisions of the court are based on proofs & evidences & not based on emotional factors.

  • #649450
    Various supreme court verdicts in the past have became points of hot debate in the past like gay marriages and gay sex etc. Some of these verdicts are suitable for foreign culture but not for Indian culture and traditions. The present verdict of SC that extra martial affairs of wife and husband are no more punishable is also comes under this category. Already through modernization Indian family value system which is so strong from the ancient times onwards showing cracks in the present generation. Even then most percentage of people of older and younger generation still sticking to the Family value norms. But the present verdict of SC may inject some poison into the younger generations to go wildly into extra martial affairs as there is no more punishment for such offenses. We are seeing how large section of people in the society are habituated to consume alcohol on daily basis as it is not a punishable offense which is spoiling the family system of common man. The same is the case with this verdict. Due to this verdict, the sanctity of Indian marriage system has lost its glory. According to this verdict, any partner can take divorce if their partner has extra martial affair with others.

  • #649467
    The striking down of Sec 497 of the Indian Penal Code may, in view of the changes the present day society is undergoing, bring in developments that are undesirable. The relation between a husband and wife is more of mutual trust and dependence. But whether the existence of Sec 497 was a deterrent to extra-marital affairs is a related topic that is being debated upon.
    Extra-marital sex is nothing new to our culture or society. It was never accepted (or will be acceptable) as an ethical practice but with the taking down of this penal provision, an increase in such relationships cannot be ruled out.
    It would have been better (even best) if the Court had ordered an amendment to the provision to include a provision to make women also punishable for the offence (earlier) if a complaint is made by the husband. That would have ensured equality too.

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #649486
    I agree with the lead editor's points. The extramarital sex is never viewed as an ethical practice in our society. Already in our country, the western influence is increasing and there is a downfall in the good practices that are being adopted by our ancestors. This judgement of the apex court may add fuel to the fire. There are some chances for further increase of such incidents. But only one good input out of this judgement is in such affairs both the parties are equally responsible and blaming only one gender is no way acceptable. It is good that the court made both the genders responsible for the issue. It will not be always in all cases only from one side.
    always confident

  • #649487
    (A slight deviation to make a simple request - please do not refer to the editor's role when he/she responds. It is not really required to emphasize it. Editors are participating in forum discussions as fellow members. Same with me. There is not really any need to constantly make a reference to the response being that of the ME.)
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #649489
    Yesterday one of my friends from school-days have issued a general advisory which I am reproducing here: "Friends, don't be so happy reading the judgment. Remember, wife's punishment is thousand times more severe than the court's punishment in case of adultery."

    It is quite natural that all the students of 1983 batch of our school are feeling a little bit hesitant after getting this advisory.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #649559
    Pushpalata, a woman from Chennai's MGR Nagar, has committed suicide after her husband, John Paul Franklin, allegedly justified that he was in an extra-marital affair and that she could not stop him as the Supreme Court had ruled that adultery was no crime. This comes out as the first reported casualty after the Supreme Court decriminalized adultery.

    But the man forgot that if adultery leads to a person's suicide, abetment to suicide charges can be slapped on the person committing adultery.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

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