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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com

What The Law Says

Nothing much, as it disregards complexities

What The Law Says
What The Law Says
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Indian law on adultery, formulated circa 1860, sounds antediluvian in the 21st century. It's mostly about men settling scores with those who dared sleep with their wives. Women can't litigate against their errant husbands or their husbands' lovers, under the law. And, in turn, women can't be sued for being adulterous.

"Section 497 is based on Old Testament values," says Mumbai-based feminist lawyer Flavia Agnes. "It doesn't protect the rights of women, only protects the proprietorial rights of men over their wives' bodies." Considering men and women can both cite their spouses' infidelity as reason for seeking divorce, there is no legal rationale, feel many like Agnes, for a criminal law on adultery that "spares" wives for being adulterous and then "disallows" them from suing their husbands/husbands' paramour for adultery.

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