Revise - not remove - Section 497 IPC on Adultery
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Section 497 IPC was struck down by the Supreme Court of India stating that it affects the dignity and equality of women. It was argued that in its current form, Section 497 IPC implied the following:
1. The right to file a complaint lay only on the husband whose wife was engaged in an extra-marital affair.
2. A woman is being regarded as a property about which two married men can fight over.
3. If a married man consents for his wife's extra-marital affair with another married man, then that wouldn't amount to adultery and the woman would have no right to object to it.
4. If a married man has sexual intercourse with an unmarried or divorced woman, then it wouldn't amount to adultery.
Agreeing to these 4 points mentioned above, is it justified to therefore remove Section 497 IPC altogether or to modify the existing law so as to maintain the dignity and equality of women? I strongly voice my opinion for the latter and I propose a modification as follows (words in brackets are my own):
“Whoever (married man or married woman) has sexual intercourse with a person (man or woman) who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife (or husband) of another, (with or) without the consent or connivance of that man (or woman), (or has sexual intercourse with someone who is not their spouse) 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. (End)"
Note: If the legal definition of rape can be expanded to include oral sex or the insertion of any other body part into a woman's vagina, urethra or anus, then why can't we expand the legal definition of adultery to include an extra-marital affair, not only with a married person, but also with an unmarried or divorced person?
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