Make changes in the section 497 of the Indian Penal Code.

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Section 497 of The Indian Penal Code
Adultery—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, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.

The law clearly states that:

  1. Only the male who has committed adultery with someone's wife is punishable and not the married woman he has committed adultery with.
  2. Only the husband of an adulterous wife can initiate a case against her and not the wife of an adulterous husband if he commits adultery with another woman.
  3. A married man can commit adultery with an unmarried woman without being charged for committing adultery by his wife. 

This law implies that only the man who commits adultery with a woman married to another man is subjected to punishment and not the married woman even though adultery is committed with the consent of wife("such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape"). The crime is committed by both of them, both should be penalised.

A married man can commit adultery with an unmarried woman without being charged for adultery by anyone since only the husband of a married woman has the right to file a complaint against his wife. This gives liberty to a man to have sexual intercourse outside marriage with an unmarried woman, here the wife of the married man who had sexual intercourse outside marriage being powerless to file a complaint against him. 

The following amendments should be brought:

  1. Redifine the meaning of Adultery in The Indian Penal Code which shall allow the following changes:
  • Both husband and wife will have the right to complain against his/her spouse.
  • Sexual intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman will be considered as adultery and the wife of the adulterous husband will have the right to complain against her husband.
  • Both the adulterers should be penalised.


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