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What the lone woman judge on the SC Bench said about adultery

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Sep 27: The Supreme Court today struck down adultery as an offence and termed Section 497 as unconstitutional.

Justice Indu Malhotra

All the five judges on the Bench were of the common view that the section needs to be declared unconstitutional. The Bench comprised, Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, Justices R Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

Adultery not a crime, but ground for divorce says Supreme CourtAdultery not a crime, but ground for divorce says Supreme Court

Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the Bench also termed Section 497 as unconstitutional. She however said that adultery is a moral wrong. She further added that Section 497 is based on the Doctrine of Coverture, which holds that a woman loses her identity and legal right with marriage. This is violative of her fundamental rights and this doctrine is not recognised by the Constitution of India, she further observed.

It may be recalled that Justice Indu Malhotra was also on the Bench which decriminalised gay sex. During the arguments, she had said that homosexuality is only a variation and not an aberration.

Section 497: Revisiting adultery judgments in IndiaSection 497: Revisiting adultery judgments in India

She went on to add that the prejudice and stigma piled on the LGBTQ community has denied even basic medical care in the country. The pressure on homosexual people from within the home is such that they succumb to marry the opposite sex, leading to a life of mental trauma and bi-sexuality.

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