Sunday, July 7, 2019

Section 497 Of IPC Deprives A Woman Of Autonomy And Dignity, Supreme Court Said In Joseph Shine vs UOI Case

Adultery means voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not their married partner. It was crime under Section 497 of Indian penal code but after the landmark judgement in Joseph shine case(Joseph Shine v/s Union of India), Adultery is no more a crime under the Indian jurisprudence.
According to Section 497 of IPC, a women who engages in the sexual intercourse with another's man without her husband consent was considered as adultery. Under adultery, only husband had right to file a complaint against wife and a man with whom she indulged in sexual intercourse. Outsider man was liable for punishment for adultery and the wife was considered as abettor and exempted from punishment. A women had no right to file a complaint against her husband, those indulged in the sexual intercourse with another women outside his marriage.
In this case, a public interest litigation is filled by Italy based Indian(hails from Kerala) businessman Joseph shine under Article 32 of Indian constitution. He challenged the constitutional validity of Section 497 and Section 198(2) of code of criminal procedure and contented that this violates of his fundamental rights Article 14,15 and 21 under Indian constitution. He also contented that this law is discriminatory.
All the five Supreme Court judges hearing the case said that the law is archaic, arbitrary and unconstitutional because it violates Article 14, 15 & 21 of Indian constitution and Section198(2) of Crpc also declared unconstitutional to the extent of all applications of the Section 497 of IPC. The bench also said that Husband is not the master of wife and she is free to take decision itself. Now, Adultery can be a ground for divorce and civil offence.

Download judgement, click Here