Hailing the Supreme Court’s verdict on adultery, Raj Kallishwaram, the lawyer of the petitioner in the case, on Thursday said that the top court struck down the penal provision to maintain the human dignity.
Briefing the media over the judgement, Kallishwaram said, “The court has said to uphold the human dignity, this colonial law has to be struck down and today onwards there is no Section 497 of the IPC.”
He further added, “It is a monumental judgement. I am extremely happy with the judgement. The people of India should also be happy.”
He later explained, “The Supreme Court has today in a very historical judgement done away with both these provisions namely Section 497 of the IPC and Section 198 of CrPC. As the impact of this judgement, nobody in the country can be prosecuted on background of adultery liable in criminal offence.”
Kallishwaram further said that the apex court has said that the Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is quite archaic and colonial.
“The court has said that Section 497 of the IPC is quite archaic and colonial. And it cannot stand the test of times or the test of constitutional principles. The court has said that it discriminates against women directly and indirectly. It takes women as the mere chattel or property of the husband. For the reason, that according to the Sections or its implications, there is no offence of the adultery if the husband gives consent for that. Offence is made only when there is no consent which means that according to the colonial provision, wife is remaining as the chattel or property of the husband which no constitutional court will ever agree with,” he added.
The Supreme Court today decriminalised adultery by striking down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), terming it unconstitutional and observed that mere adultery cannot be a crime unless it attracts the scope of IPC’s Section 306 (Abetment of suicide). However, the court said that adultery can be a ground for divorce.
A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, comprising Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra passed the verdict.