Business Standard

Women can't be treated as chattel: SC strikes down adultery law (Second Lead, correcting word in intro and para 6)

Image

IANS New Delhi
In yet another landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Thursday decriminalised adultery after striking down a British era law, Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, terming it as unconstitutional, archaic and manifestly arbitrary, with one judge saying women can't be treated as "chattel".
"Mere adultery can't be a criminal offence. It is a matter of privacy. Husband is not the master of wife. Women should be treated with equality along with men," Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
Most countries have abolished adultery as a crime. "It shouldn't be a criminal offence, other people are also involved in it," Misra said, reading out the judgement, also on behalf of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar.
Earlier this month the apex court had decriminalised same sex offence under Section 377 of the IPC, which was another British era law.
Any discrimination shall invite the wrath of the Constitution, the Chief Justice said, adding that a woman cannot be asked to think about the way society desires her to do.
Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, reading out his judgement, said: "Women can't be treated as chattel".
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud in a concurring but separate judgment said society has two sets of morality in sexual behaviour -- one for women and another for men.
Society treating women as embodiment of virtue leads to things like honour killings, he said, adding that the archaic law is against dignity, liberty and sexual autonomy guaranteed under the Constitution.
--IANS
pk-gt-rak/in/vsc/vm

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 12:50 PM IST

Explore News