Whoever has sexual intercourse with s person who is an whom he knows or has a
reason to believe to be the wife of another man without the consent or
convenience that man such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of
rape is guilty of the offence of adultry and shall be punished with imprisonment
or either description for a term which may extend to 5 years or with fine or
In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.
Section 497 of IPC
was a section dealing with adultery only a man who has consensual sexual
intercourse with the wife of another man without his consent could have been
punished under this offence in India. The supreme Court called the law
unconstitutional because it treats the husband as the master.
Joseph Shine v/s Union of India
Status disposed, petitioner -Joseph shine partner of law in development,
respondent -union of India
October 2017,joseph shine a non-resident Keralite, filed public interest
litigation under article 32, of the Constitution. The petition challenged the
Constitutionality of the offence of Adultery under section 497.
On 27/07/2018, a 5 judge bench of supreme Court Animously stuck down section 497
of INDIAN PENAL CODE as being violative of article 14,15,and 21 of
Article 14 - Right To Equality
Article 15- No Discrimination Against Race, Cast, Religion, Sex Or Place Of Birth
Article 21- Right To Life And Personal Liberty