Adultery: Flaws and flaunts of Sec. 497.
Indian adultery laws:
“497 of Indian Penal Code: says about Adultery — Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”
In my opinion there are many flaws in this section: The law has some major gender discriminatory clauses.
- Firstly, Why adultery is a crime? OK fine, it can be ground for divorce, or can be called as a cheating and even giving fine or compensation is enough but why it is punishable for 5 years?
- Even if it is a crime then why only man who commits adultery will held liable why not women? This is essentially saying that if a man’s property is defiled by another, the man can punish the offender – the woman here is reduced to mere property.
- Addressing another major controversy, the adultery law has also received flak from protesting men who claim that this law is biased against them. But they overlook the fact that this law does not permit a woman to bring to justice the lover of her husband. How does one contend that a law is favourable to women when the very same law makes it legal for a man to have extramarital relations with a widow, or even an unmarried woman? The wife’s hands are tied in this instance – she is helpless to bring charges against her husband under this section.
- Here, If married women have intercourse with any man other than her husband then it will consider as an adultery. What if it is other way round?? What if a married man have intercourse with any women other than his wife? There is neither any law regarding this nor it is a punishable offence? Illicit conception, living as concubine or kept as mistress does not mean living in adultery
- 5 year punishment is totally absurd. Why i don’t consider it as a punishable offence because it has been committed with the consent of two mature people whether married women or other man or vice versa. There is no violence indulged in it. It can be called as cheating or can be ground for divorce but no need of five year imprisonment. In fact fine is also enough.
- Whether it’s a sin or not we don’t know because we are human beings not a God but definitely it’s not a serious crime or felony. We can’t judge anyone with any mere incidence neither we have gone through their situations.
- Most countries have decriminalised adultery – India should follow their lead and do away with such dated laws, lest they further expose the stagnancy of the legal system.
P.S: I m neither in the favour of adultery nor i am initiating anyone to commit this crime. I am just keeping my opinion and views regarding this law which i think why it is controversial.