"Adultery, homosexuality should be re-criminalised": Panel's recommendation to Centre, now eyeing SC decision- CMB College

“Adultery, homosexuality should be re-criminalised”: Panel’s recommendation to Centre, now eyeing SC decision

The parliamentary committee in its report also argued that the amended adultery law should be considered a “gender neutral” offence. Also, both men and women should be equally responsible for this.

If the government accepts the parliamentary committee’s report, it will go against the landmark 2018 judgment of a five-member bench of the Supreme Court. He says “adultery cannot and should not be a crime”.

Home Minister Amit Shah presented three bills on August 11.
In fact, Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced three bills in the Lok Sabha in September to strengthen the criminal justice system. Its names are Indian Judiciary Code, Indian Evidence Bill and Indian Civil Protection Code. The Home Minister claimed that the main objective of implementing these laws is to speed up the process of justice. The Indian Judicial Code was referred to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by BJP MP Brij Lal, for scrutiny.

Know what is IPC 497? The Supreme Court struck down the 158-year-old adultery law

P Chidambam objected
However, senior Congress leader and MP P Chidambam objected to this recommendation. He said, “…the state has no right to pry into a couple’s private life.” Chidambaram raised three “fundamental objections” to the bill. It also included claims that the three bills were “largely a copy and paste of existing legislation”.

In 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalized adultery.
In 2018, a 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by then Chief Justice (CJI) Dipak Misra delivered a historic verdict on adultery. The court said that adultery cannot and should not be a crime. However, the bench said that adultery can be a ground for divorce. The then CJI Deepak Mishra argued that the 163-year-old, colonial-era law followed the illegitimate concept of “the husband owns the wife”. In its scathing remarks, the Supreme Court called the law “outdated”, “arbitrary” and “patriarchal”. The court said that this violates the autonomy and dignity of women.

The government’s attempt to make sweeping changes to the IPC, CRPC and Evidence Act is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oft-repeated statement to rid India of colonial-era laws. In September this year and October last year, PM Modi spoke about the need for “contemporary legislation”.

A parliamentary committee has recommended making adultery laws gender-neutral
The law before the 2018 decision said that a man who had sex with a married woman without her husband’s consent could face up to five years in prison if convicted. However, the woman concerned will not be punished in this case. The report of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs seeks to make minor changes to the adultery law and re-criminalise it. It means that both men and women will have to suffer the punishment.

The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the central government by deciding on adultery, rejecting the argument

The Standing Committee also said that “sexual act without consent (which was partially defined as homosexuality in the repealed Article 377) should also be re-criminalised.” Article 377 was also partially repealed in 2017. A bench headed by former Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the ban was illogical, inexcusable and patently arbitrary.

However, the Parliamentary Standing Committee claimed that the court found that the deleted clauses were violative of Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution, but were “applicable in cases of non-consensual physical relations with adults”. The committee said that now, the Indian Penal Code has no provision for non-consensual sexual offenses and brutality against men, women, transgenders.”

In the case of offences, the Committee expressed the view that the term ‘community service’ should be properly defined. It was further suggested that provision could also be made for making the person responsible for supervision of the sentence in the form of community service.

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