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    Joseph shine v/s Union of India (2018)


    Adultery is mentioned under IPC, since 1860 when husband sold their wife for money or to pay off the debt, in such circumstances to the man who buys the wife or girl has to be punished under this section. But with the change in scenario, the woman became educated and has the liberty and power to take their action; they don’t have to depend on males for their decision. With this, the male patriarchy has shown its slower pace in Indian society by improving a good justice system that provides equality in opportunity and rights to women.

    As per section 497 this section was repealed by the Supreme court after the case judgment of Joseph Shine, as per section 497, any man who has consensual intercourses to any married woman without the consent of the husband, in such cases husband has the right to file the complaint against the person who involved in consensual intercourse with the wife.

    With this, the person arrested shall be punished for 5 years of imprisonment.

    Later this section was repealed and the court was silent on so many facts as this section does not provide the right to the women whose husband was involved in adultery and second the legitimacy and maintenance of such child born out of such relationship.


     Yussuf Aziz V, State Of Bombay, 1951[1]

    In this case, the husband is charged with adultery and later husband reached the high court to remove charges against him. But the court came in favor of the woman and held that man is liable for adultery under section 497. With this court observed that woman is treated as an object for the man with no sentiment and feeling towards the wife.

    Later, observed that if a husband gave consent to another husband to have intercourse with his wife, such husband cannot be punished under section 497 of IPC.

    497 was valid, and any such crime is a crime and Section is not gender discriminated in nature.

    somitri Vishnu v union of india, 1985-[2]

    in this case, the court observed that the adultery section is only to punish a male person, for committing the offense, and it does not punish women for offense- the major issues were raised by the petitioner

    Section 497 does not give the right to the married woman to sue another woman who conducts adultery with her husband.

    Section 497 does not give the right to married women when their husband conducted adultery with another woman, the wife in such cases does not have the right to sue the man under adultery.

    Section 497 does not cover cases where the husband has sexual intercourse with unmarried women of any age with consent.

    But later Supreme court did not invalidate the validity of section 497,

    V Revathi v. Union of India[3]

    This section does not base on discrimination based on gender inequality as nor the husband of the offender and the wife of the offender has the right to file the complaint against their spouses. So, this section is not based on gender discrimination.

     The same judgment was passed by the Supreme Court, as passed by the other previous judgment and it also does not make changes or struck down the adultery section.

    Additional knowledge-

    In 2016 the president of India gave their opinion to make relevant changes in the Indian penal code, 1860. As it’s pre-constitutional, it now becomes unambiguous and some of the sections do not be adapted to the new generation, so it must be transformative and adaptive and needs alteration as per social changes.


    The non-resident person from Kerala filed the petition to protect the man from forge complaint filed by husband or wife to take revenge from the same. The petitioner’s friend committed suicide due to a co-worker’s fake allegation of the deceased man.

    Under this act three contention were put by the petitioner

    If the husband gave consent to have sexual intercourse with another man with husband consent then such in such manner woman in today’s world is independent and take their own decision but die but then the woman has no right to object at the time, when she is treated as an object without her permission or by force of husband and family pressure such women treated as an object by male spouses.

    Adultery law provides a man to take action against the man but does not provide the right to take action against women, so it is gender indiscriminate.

    Under section 497, it is not mentioned anywhere that women have the right to file a complaint about adultery against their spouses.


    Section 497 and 198 of CrPC were struck down by the order of the supreme court, section 497 was vague and incomplete and it doesn’t fit in today’s world. As it violates article 15 that provides no discrimination based on sex, but, this act is more male dominating in nature and treats a woman with no authority to file the complaint or take action against the spouse who committed adultery. Right to husband to right to consent that shows women is being used as an object is the factor that needs to be removed to prevail equality between man and women.


    The legitimacy of the child and maintenance of child born out from the person committed adultery.

    The right of the woman whose husband had committed adultery with another woman.

    And the court gave orders that if the spouses committed adultery with consent then, the relationship between the spouses is not in mutual terms, so the people who committed adultery is not prosecuted under criminal laws but any of the spouses have the right to file suit against for divorce against the spouses who committed adultery on the ground of dissertation.


    Legal services India.



    [1] AIR 1954 SO 321

    [2] 1985 AIR 1618 1985 SCR Supl

    [3] 1988 AIR 835