New Delhi: The Supreme Court today delivered verdict with all the five judges concurring on a crucial 150-year-old adultery law that considers punishment only to a man and not a married woman for an affair by treating her as a victim and not as an abettor of the offence. “Adultery law arbitrary,” said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.
Section 497 deprives women of dignity and that women are treated as property of her husband. The court said any provision treating women with inequality is not constitutional and it’s time to say that husband is not the master of woman. Adultery will remain a ground for divorce, the bench added.
The centre had, in its defence, claimed that the law should remain valid as it protects the sanctity of marriage. The petition filed against the law was done so on the premise that the law does not treat men and women equally.
A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had reserved its verdict in August. The hearing in the case by the bench, which also comprised justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, went on for six days and had begun on August 1.