The Ministry of Defense has filed a petition in the Supreme Court and appealed that the adultery law (adultery) should be allowed to remain in force.
It is noteworthy that the Constitution Bench of the five judges of the Supreme Court in September 2018, while announcing a historic decision, quashed the adultery law and said that adultery is not a crime.
The then Chief Justice of the Constitution Bench, Justice Deepak Mishra said at the time, “Adultery cannot be a crime. It is a matter of privacy. Husband is not the owner of the wife. Women should be treated in the same way as men.”
At that time also the Central Government had said in its plea that it is socially wrong and it causes life-partner, children and family to be mentally and physically tortured.
The Supreme Court considered matrimonial purity as an issue, but made the statute unconstitutional, denying the penal provision for fornication a violation of the right to equality.
Now, after two years, the Ministry of Defense has said that there is a provision in the security forces till being fired from a relationship with a colleague’s wife. The Army wants to maintain adultery a punishable offense for maintaining its alleged discipline.
On the petition of the Ministry of Defense, the bench headed by Justice RF Nariman issued notice that since the five-judge bench had decided on it, this petition should be sent to the Chief Justice so that he can make a similar bench.
National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has called the Ministry of Defense’s petition and the arguments given in it an insult to the people working in the army and their wives.
NIFW General Secretary Annie Raja has also demanded an unconditional apology from Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, demanding the withdrawal of the petition.