Adultery not a Crime : SC

Adultery is no longer crime in India Supreme Court said today. The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra read out the judgment on behalf of himself and Justice AM Khanwilkar. “Thinking of adultery as a criminal offence is a retrograde step,” the CJI said in court. Mere adultery can’t be a crime unless it attracts the scope of Section 306 (abatement to suicide) of the IPC, the CJI held.

There cant be any social license that destroys the matrimonial home, but adultery should not be a criminal offence,” he said. Making adultery a crime is retrograde and would mean “punishing unhappy people”, said Justice Misra.

Chief Justice remarked that the beauty of the constitution is it includes “the I, me and you”. “Adultery might not be a cause of unhappy marriage, it could be a result of unhappy marriage” the CJI said. Justice Chandrachud said Section 497 destroyed and deprived women of dignity. “Section 497 is based on gender stereotypes of the role women. The provision is unconstitutional,” Chandrachud said.