New Delhi: Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code makes it an offense for a person to have intercourse with the wife of another person in violation of the marriage bond. Against this, Kerala’s Joseph Shine filed a case in the Supreme Court. The verdict in this case was given last year 2018.
It said, “This law interferes with the freedom and fundamental rights of women. A husband is not the master of women. This law is unconstitutional. Therefore Criminal Section 497 is repealed. Section 198(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is an offense against marriage, is also repealed.
Offense under civil law: However, under civil law, an inappropriate relationship is considered wrongful. It was ruled that if the victims of extramarital affairs commit suicide, the case can be prosecuted. Based on this judgment, there were complaints that army officers and soldiers who were involved in inappropriate relationships were getting away with it. In this regard, the Central Defense Department filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2021. In it, the Defense Force officials were asked to be exempted from the Joseon Shine judgment in the soldiers’ inappropriate relationship cases.
The case was heard yesterday by a constitutional bench consisting of Justices KM Joseph, Rishikesh Roy, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose and Ravikumar. It said, “Judgment in Joseph Shine case, Criminal Section 497, Criminal Procedure Code, Section 198(2). This judgment does not apply to Sections 45, 63 of the Indian Army Act. Therefore, it was ordered that the administration of the respective forces may take action against the security force officers and soldiers in cases of violation of the marriage bond as per the provisions of this law.