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Supreme Court strikes down adultery act; here are the main highlights of the verdict that you must know

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 27 September 2018, 12:48 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday strikes down the adultery act, saying it was manifestly arbitrary and damages the individuality of women.

A five-judge Constitution comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra unanimously held Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional and struck down the penal provision.

CJI said “We declare Section 497 IPC and Section 198 of CrPC dealing with prosecution of offences against marriage as unconstitutional".

Here are the key points of the verdict

-CJI Dipak Mishra can be a ground for divorce but not a criminal offence

-According to CJI and Justice Khanwilkar, mere adultery cannot be a crime but if any aggrieved couple commits suicide due to life partner’s adulterous relation it could be treated as an abetment to suicide if evidence prouduced.

-The bench said that adultery can be treated as civil wrong for dissolution of marriage.
-The apex court said that unequal treatment of women invites the wrath of the Constitution.
-According to the five-judge bench, the beauty of the Constitution is that it includes “the I, me and you”.

-CJI said that equality is the governing principle of a system and a husband is not the master of the wife.

-The CJI said section 497 of the IPC is manifestly arbitrary the way it deals with women.
-CJI said adultery might not be cause of unhappy marriage.

-Justice R F Nariman along with CJI Misra and justice Khanwilkar termed an archaic provision which is unconstitutional.

-Justice D Y Chandrachud said adultery offence as a relic of past and said section 497 is destructive of woman dignity and self-respect as it treats woman as a chattel of husband.


Also read: Murder of the love triangle! Hyderbad man killed his neighbour for getting close to his love-lady; neighbour's family killed him

First published: 27 September 2018, 12:48 IST