There was no punishment for the woman, who was seen as the victim. The court said adultery can be a ground for civil wrong, a ground for divorce but not a criminal offence. The law in adultery is a codified rule of patriarchy.
Justice Chandrachud said sexuality can not be constituted as a physical attribute and it can not be disassociated with human psychology. The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said that the beauty of the Constitution is that it includes "I, me and you". "Section 497 IPC which deals with Adultery is absolutely manifestly arbitrary".
The court has said, however, that the judgment is not to be understood as a licence to have extramarital relations.
An Indian businessman living in Italy petitioned the court to ditch the law, saying it treated "women like objects", and discriminated against men by making them the only ones criminally responsible in the event of an affair.
"The idea of imposition of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code is not to enforce monogamy but to ensure to protect fidelity in the marriage, which is a promise made by both the parties while entering to a marriage", the bench had observed.
With the supreme court striking the section 497 of the IPC, the announcement has been receiving a mixed reaction.
Consensual sexual relationships between two adults, even if married to other people, will no longer be a crime. "They are not in any way situated differently than men", his petition said. The system can not treat women unequally.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal said decriminalising adultery completely is just going to add to the pain of women in the country. "Any provision treating women with inequality is not constitutional", said the SC. "Otherwise, the children from such marriages will suffer", the Centre's counsel had told the SC in August 2017, defending the IPC provision that does not penalise a man for forcibly having sex with his wife aged between 15 and 17. Most love poems in Sanskrit, according to scholar J Moussaief Masson, are "about illicit love".
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Gay sex is considered taboo by many in socially conservative India, and was reinstated as a criminal offence in 2013 after four years of decriminalisation.
"Adultery can not and should not be a crime".
"The institution of marriage must be protected".
Many Asian countries uphold adultery as a crime.
Earlier only a Christian man could file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
This year has brought a lot of changes in our laws and hence, lives.
The Supreme Court rejected the plea.
After the ruling, opponents of the law danced and waved flags outside the court.
Stability of marriages is not an ideal to be scorned.