HC seeks reply from Centre on constitutionality of adultery

Mumbai, Jan 27 (PTI) Is treating adultery as an offenceconstitutional? This is a poser from the Bombay High Court tothe Union Government, in a petition filed by a person accusedof the crime.

Mumbai-based Anand (name changed) has filed a petition,challenging the constitutional validity of section 497 of theIndian Penal Code, arguing that ''right to live'' covers freedomto have sex with any consenting adult, even a married woman.

The division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A RJoshi today issued notice to the Attorney General, seeking thereply of the Union Government by February 16.

The bench also issued notices to the husband and thewife, seeking their replies. Under IPC, a person can besentenced to a maximum of five years'' jail term for adultery.

"The right to live and the right to privacy gives twoconsenting adults the right to indulge in physical intimacy ifit sits within the confines of public order and decency,"petitioner''s lawyer advocate Nitin Pradhan argued.

A metropolitan magistrate''s court, in October 2009,issued process against Anand on the private complaint filed bythe husband of his lady-friend. He is seeking its quashing.

Opposing the petition, the husband''s lawyer, advocateVibhav Krishna argued, "A spouse has the right to complainagainst any person who is infringing on his matrimonial tie."PTI SP KRKRDM

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