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Adultery not a crime, can be a ground for divorce, says Supreme Court



Adultery not a crime, can be a ground for divorce, says Supreme Court

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Supreme Court today (Thursday, September 27) junked the 158 year old adultery law unconstitutional, holding it as oppressive to women and treating them as husbands’ property.

Section 497 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) punished a man who has an affair with a woman “without the consent or connivance of” her husband, with five years in jail or fine or both. The wife of the man having an extra-marital affair could not lodge a complaint and woman having an affair with her husband was seen as a victim and was not liable for punishment.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1538038750464{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #a2b1bf !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]According to Section 497 of IPC, “whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery”. Adultery presently entails imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years, or fine, or both.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]In four separate but concurring judgments, the Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench held that Section 497 of IPC fell foul of Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and Article 14 (Right to equality): the SC said it treated the woman as her husband’s property and ruled, “The husband is not the master of the wife.”

The apex court also declared Section 198(1) and 198(2) of the CrPC, which allows a husband to bring charges against the man with whom his wife committed adultery, unconstitutional.

“The wife can’t be treated as chattel and it’s time to say that husband is not the master of woman,” said the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.

Adultery can be ground for any civil wrong. There cant be any social license that destroys the matrimonial home, but adultery should not be a criminal offence,” he said. Stating that a wife was not a chattel of the husband, Misra said, “Any provision of law affecting individual dignity and equality of women invites the wrath of the Constitution. It’s time to say that a husband is not the master of wife. Legal sovereignty of one sex over other sex is wrong.”

The judges noted that most countries had abolished laws against adultery. Making adultery a crime is retrograde and would mean “punishing unhappy people”, said Justice Misra.

As he began reading out the verdict, the Chief Justice remarked that the beauty of the Constitution is it includes “the I, me and you” and “any law which dents individual dignity and equity of women in a civilised society invites the wrath of the Constitution.”

The top court, calling adultery a relic of the past, said Section 497 “denudes women from making choices.”

During arguments, the Centre had defended the law saying adultery must remain a crime so that the sanctity of marriage can be protected. The top court had then questioned how the law preserved the sanctity of marriage when the extramarital affair didn’t invite punishment if the woman’s husband stood by her.

“It’s illogical to say sexual act is not an offence if it’s done with his (husband’s) consent,” ruled the top court.

The Chief Justice said today that adultery might not be the cause of an unhappy marriage; it could be the result of one.

“In case of adultery, criminal law expects people to be loyal which is a command which gets into the realm of privacy… A man having sexual intercourse with a married woman is not a crime,” the judges felt.

The Supreme Court had upheld the legality of the crime in 1954, arguing that in adultery “it is commonly accepted that it is the man who is the seducer, and not the women.”

The Supreme Court today rejected the logic, saying, “Man being the seducer and women being the victim no longer exits. Equality is the governing principle of a system. Husband is not the master of the wife.”

“To attach criminality to something happening in the four walls of privacy is wrong. Law cannot distinguish between man and woman when both have equal role,” the SC added.

“Sexual autonomy of woman cannot be compromised. It’s a result of patriarchal society. It’s her right and there cannot be any condition imposed on her. Chastity is not for woman alone as it is also equally applicable to husband,” the court said.

Last year, in response to the petition challenging the law, the court had said it treats a woman as her husband’s subordinate and time had come for society to realise that a woman is as equal to a man in every respect.

Justice RF Nariman termed Section 497 archaic and concurred with the judgment of the CJI and Justice AM Khanwilkar, saying the penal provision was violative of the rights to equality and equal opportunity to women. Justice DY Chandrachud said Section 497 destroyed and deprived women of dignity. “Section 497 is based on gender stereotypes of the role women. The provision is unconstitutional,” Chandrachud said.

Saying that Section 497 also deprived a woman of her privacy, he said, “Society has two sets of standards for judging the morality of men and women. The law is gender biased, gives unequal voice to partners.”

Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the bench, said that Section 497 was a clear violation of fundamental rights granted in the Constitution and there was no justification for the continuation of the provision.

The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had reserved judgment on August 8, saying that making adultery a penal offence would be irrational and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The petition seeking the repeal of Section 497 IPC was filed by a non-resident Keralite — Joseph Shine — who termed the 158-year-old law enacted by the Britishers as “unjust, illegal and arbitrary and violative of citizens’ fundamental rights”. Questioning the gender bias in the provision drafted by Lord Macaulay in 1860, Shine has also challenged Section 198(2) of the CrPC.

On January 5, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, referred the PIL to a larger constitutional bench. The bench had contended the provision seemed “quite archaic, especially when there is societal progress”. In three earlier judgments in 1954, 1985 and in 1988, the court had upheld the provision.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

IMD predicts cyclone Biparjoy to strengthen in next 36 Hours

The weather department had also advised fishermen not to venture into the cyclone hit areas in the Arabian Sea.



cyclone biparjoy imd

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday, warned Cyclone Biparjoy is likely to strengthen in the next 36 hours.

The weather department noted, the cyclone will be heading north-northwestward in the next two days.

Earlier on Friday, the IMD said, the cyclone was over the east-central Arabian Sea and was situated 840 kilometers west-southwest of Goa and 870 km west-southwest of Mumbai at 11:30 pm on June 8.

The weather department had also advised fishermen not to venture into the cyclone hit areas in the Arabian Sea.

In addition, the IMD predicted that the weather conditions are favourable for further advancement of the Southwest monsoon into some parts of the central Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Kerala, few parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The Southwest monsoon might also advance into some more parts of the southwest, Central and northwest Bay of Bengal, and some parts of northeastern states during the next 24 hours, as per the weather department.

The weather department further predicted, light to moderate rain at isolated places in South Gujarat region like Navsari, Valsad, Daman and Dadara Nagar Haveli. Dry weather is anticipated in all the districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and Diu.

In South India, light rainfall with thunderstorm is likely over Kerala, Lakshadweep, Coastal & South Interior Karnataka.

Isolated and scattered rainfall is expected over North Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the next 5 days.

Further, heavy rainfall is predicted over Andaman & Nicobar Islands on June 9 and 10, Kerala from June 9 to 13, Lakshadweep from June 9 to 11 and Coastal and South Interior Karnataka during June 10-13.

In Northeast India, scattered to fairly widespread rainfall with thunderstorms is expected over the northeast region in the next 5 days.

Meanwhile, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura is likely to witness very heavy rainfall on June 9. Assam and Meghalaya will also witness heavy rainfall on June 12 and 13. In the Northwest India, the weather department forecasts an increase in maximum temperature by about 2 degree Celsius over the plains during the next two days.

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India News

Haryana: 4 independent MLAs meet BJP’s Biplab Deb as rift arises within the ruling BJP-JJP alliance

Deb said, Haryana MLAs Dharam Pal Gonder, Rakesh Daulatabad, Randhir Singh and Somveer Sangwan met him on Thursday and expressed confidence in PM Modi’s leadership.



4 independent MLAs meet BJP state in-charge Biplab Deb as rift arises within the ruling BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana

Amid the reports of the strife between ruling BJP-Jannayak Janata Party(JJP) alliance in Haryana, 4 independent MLAs meet BJP state in-charge Biplab Kumar Deb expressing confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.

Deb said, Haryana MLAs Dharam Pal Gonder, Rakesh Daulatabad, Randhir Singh and Somveer Sangwan met him on Thursday and expressed confidence in PM Modi’s leadership.

Deb said, the party believes in PM Modi’s slogan Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas and is leaving no stone unturned for the growth and development of Haryana. The BJP had taken the support of JJP to form the government in Haryana in 2019, since it failed to get a majority in the state election.

JJP leader Dushyant Chautala has been holding the Deputy Chief Minister’s post since 2019, after the government formation with Manohar Lal Khattar as the Chief Minister. There has been tension arising between the two parties as leaders of the two parties had a war of words with each other. Deb even said the JJP did no favor to the BJP by supporting it, as JJP is also part of the government in Haryana.

There have been reports of recent disagreement between the two parties on contesting the upcoming elections in 2024 together. Chautala when asked whether the two parties will contest together in 2024, he diplomatically replied, he is not an astrologer and cannot predict what the future has in store for the parties. He told the media that both parties will contest for 90 seats on their own in the 2024 elections.  

The news on Twitter started spreading like wildfire as diverse comments on the tweet started appearing, where one user said BJP should take support of these four candidates as the alliance government has done a lot of corruption in the state.

Another user hailed the BJP alliance government and said, Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi. Another user said that this is all hypocrisy of the BJP in Haryana.  

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Open AI CEO Sam Altman meets PM Modi to discuss AI opportunities in India

OpenAI is the firm behind ChatGPT, an artificial chatbot.



Sam Altman Narendra Modi

On Thursday, Open AI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sam Altman met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Altman in his meeting with PM Modi discussed the need for global regulation related to artificial intelligence.

OpenAI is the firm behind ChatGPT, an artificial chatbot.

Altman’s meeting with PM Narendra Modi holds significance as India is in the process of regulating AI through the upcoming Digital India Bill, which is likely to replace the Information Technology (IT) Act. As per reports, during the meeting PM Modi and Altman discussed the potential and opportunities of artificial intelligence in India together with the need for regulations to address the loopholes of this emerging technology.

Addressing the Digital India Dialogues event at IIT Delhi, Altman expressed his satisfaction with the meeting and added that the Prime Minister provided great answers on why India has embraced ChatGPT. In addition, he further elaborated that they talked about India’s prospects, the necessary steps for the country along with the importance of global regulations to avert negative consequences.

Furthermore, speaking about his company Altman said, they have spent almost 8 months on GPT for making sure that it was safe enough to release.

He mentioned that they build the technology and have worked with organisations to figure out what the limits should be and tested them all.

He also acknowledged that they think,  coordination and self-regulation is important. However, the world should not be left entirely in the hands of the companies.

In addition, narrating about his plan for India, Altman mentioned, the first thing he will do in India is to fund startups. Considering, India’s strong IT industry along with large set of data, AI-based utilities can leverage huge potential in the country.

Although, AI is still in its early stages. He expressed that they were always amazed and quite grateful for the quality of Indian startups. Following the meeting, PM Modi thanked Altman for the insightful conversation. He tweeted that the potential of AI in enhancing India’s tech ecosystem is indeed vast and that too among the youth in particular. He also welcomed collaborations that can accelerate digital

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