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SC to examine Centre’s plea seeking adultery be treated as a crime in Armed Forces

The Centre argued that defence personnel should continue to be dismissed from service for committing adultery with a colleague’s wife to maintain stability within the Armed Forces.

January 13, 2021 / 04:52 PM IST
In September 2018, Section 497 of the IPC was unanimously struck down by the SC; adultery was no longer a punishable offence for men.

In September 2018, Section 497 of the IPC was unanimously struck down by the SC; adultery was no longer a punishable offence for men.

The Supreme Court of India, on January 13, agreed to examine the Central government’s request to continue to treat adultery as a crime in the Armed Forces, reported news agency ANI.

The Centre wants the Indian Armed Forces to be exempted from the purview of its 2018 verdict that decriminalised adultery.

The Centre argued that defence personnel should continue to be dismissed from service for committing adultery with a colleague’s wife to maintain stability within the Armed Forces, reported Live Law.

The Central government’s plea said decriminalising adultery within the Armed Forces might cause “instability” as our soldiers and officers stay away from their families for months at a stretch.

"It is submitted that the aforesaid judgment passed by this Hon'ble Court may cause instability within the Applicants Services, as Defence Personnel are expected to function in peculiar conditions, during the course of which many a time they have to stay separated from their families for long durations when they are posted on borders or other far-flung areas or in areas having inhospitable weather and terrain," the Centre's plea read.

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A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman has requested Chief Justice of India SA Bobde to list the matter for hearing before a five-judge bench.

In September 2018, Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code was unanimously struck down by the Supreme Court; adultery was no longer a punishable offence for men. The apex court of the country had observed that the 158-year-old law was unconstitutional and was in violation of Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and Article 14 (Right to equality).

Additionally, Section 198(1) and 198(2) of the CrPC were also declared unconstitutional, meaning a man can no longer press charges against a man with whom his wife committed adultery.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 13, 2021 04:52 pm

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