The case of cancellation of section 497 of IPC regarding adultery has again reached the Supreme Court. The central government has asked the Supreme Court to allow adultery in the military forces to remain a crime. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court today issued a notice on the petition of the central government. Also, the matter has been sent to Chief Justice Justices SA Bobde for its hearing in the Constitution Bench of five judges.
The Center has said that the judgment given by the Supreme Court on adultery two years ago should not be applied to the armed forces, where an employee can be fired from service on the basis of unbearable conduct for committing adultery with a colleague’s wife .
A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Justice Naveen Sinha and Justice KM Joseph issued this notice on the petition of the Center. On September 27, 2018, a Constitution Bench of five judges in the Supreme Court abolished the Section 497 Adultery Act of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). While delivering the verdict, the then Chief Justice of the country (CJI) Deepak Mishra had said, “It should not be a crime.”
While canceling the 158-year-old anti-adultery law, the Supreme Court had said that adultery is not a crime. However, the court said that it can be considered the basis of divorce but this law affects the right of a woman to live. The court remarked that no husband is the owner of the woman and whatever system behaves or discriminates against the dignity of the woman, it invites the wrath of the constitution.
The court had also said that the provision which treats women with equality is unconstitutional. The court had said that this law disrespects a woman’s desire and sexual choice, so it cannot be considered a crime.