Adultery must stay a crime to protect sanctity of marriage, says Centre

The government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court it opposes a petition that calls for making men and woman equally liable for adultery, which is a crime under Indian law.

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) says a man who has sex with a woman who is not his wife is liable for prosecution. Scrapping the law “will prove to be detrimental to the intrinsic Indian ethos which gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage,” the government said.

“The law was enacted to protect and safeguard the sanctity of marriage, keeping in mind the unique structure and culture of the Indian society. The decriminalisation of adultery will result in weakening the sanctity of a marital bond and will result in laxity in the marital bond,” it said in an affidavit, according to NDTV.

The government was responding to a petition filed by the Joseph Shine, a resident of Kerala, on why a married man alone and not a woman should be dealt under the law.

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