New Delhi: The Indian Army is likely to approach the Supreme Court soon on its verdict, delivered last year, which quashed adultery as a criminal offence. The issue has also reportedly been raised with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), an officer told a leading daily.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the military is unhappy with the 2018 SC’s judgement. Hence, it will appeal in the court to exclude the defence forces from the ambit of the judgment.
The top court in September 2018 scrapped Section 497, upholding equality of the genders while striking down the ‘unconstitutional’ law unanimously. Pronouncing the judgement, then CJI Dipak Misra had said, “Section 497 is arbitrary and offends the dignity of women.” He said, “Husband is not the master of the wife…system can’t treat women unequally. Women can’t be asked to think what a society desires.”
The military is worried about “discipline among its ranks”. In the military, adultery amounts to a serious offence and is punishable with death. The officer accused of adultery is generally dismissed from the force.
“Scrapping of [section] 497, therefore, has thrown up a difficult situation,” a second senior military officer told the newspaper. “Officers and men stay away from families for months and are looked after by others, there has to be some deterrence to deal with deviant behaviour,” the officer added.