The Supreme Court of India has ruled, ‘Adultery’ is no longer a Criminal Offence.
The 158-year-old colonial-era law read; any man who had intercourse with a married woman, without the permission of her husband, was guilty of the ‘Criminal Act of Adultery’. It is not clear how many men have been prosecuted under the law since its inception – as there is no data available.
A petitioner had challenged the law saying it was arbitrary and discriminatory.
This is the second colonial-era law struck down by the Supreme Court of India, this month. Recently, the Supreme Court also overturned a 157-year-old law, thus de-criminalizing Homosexuality.
While reading out the judgement on Adultery, Chief Justice: Dipak Misra said, while Adultery could be grounds for civil issues like Divorce, it cannot be a Criminal Offence.