India Revokes laws criminalizing Infidelity and homosexuality



India’s Supreme Court overturned a law that considered adultery illegal for 158 years, The previous law “criminalizes having sex with a married woman without her husband’s consent.”, No information is available on the number of persons prosecuted in accordance with the old law.

The Supreme Court also annulled a 157-year-old law criminalizing homosexuality.

While reading the text of the law, the Supreme Court judge said that while treason could cause social issues such as divorce but could not be considered a crime.

An Indian businessman based in Italy, Joseph Schein, filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Justice to overturn the law criminalizing adultery, and the Indian government objected to the petition at the time.

In his petition, Shane said the law presumes that women are a private property of men.

According to the old law, the wife was not allowed to file a case against her husband for treason.

Despite the lack of information on the application of the old law, however, lawyer Kaliswaram Raj said that the law of infidelity is often misused by accusing the wife of treason in the event of differences between spouses or issues of divorce and maintenance.

Indian courts have refused to pass the law more than once in the past decades
Interestingly, Indian folk tales and stories are full of love outside marriage, as well as many Sanskrit poems of love outside marriage.

The five judges who ruled said the law was old, arbitrary and contrary to the constitution.

“The prevailing view that women are victims and men is an aggressor no longer exists in the current situation,” said Judge Nariman Rohinton.

“The law considers women to belong to men, even in a sexual relationship,” Judge Chandrushod said.

“The law does not have to decide who sleeps with whom,” said Rasmi Kalia, who lectures in the law.

The newspaper “Economic” political Weekly “that the important is not whether the expectation of sincerity in the marital relationship in place, but whether the state is to decide on such a matter.

There are various laws on infidelity around the world, but In which countries is adultery criminalized?

Infidelity is a crime in 21 states of the United States of America, including New York.

American citizens, although most do not agree with marital infidelity, do not consider it an offense.

“The criminalization of treason remains a symbolic law, but in practice there is no practical application of the law, and the reason for keeping the law political,” said Debra Roed, a Stanford law professor at the BBC.

Infidelity is a crime in Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.

In Taiwan, infidelity is punishable with up to one year in prison.

In Indonesia, adultery is also treated as a crime, and a bill is being drafted that criminalizes sexual relations outside the institution of marriage in general.

In South Korea, the Supreme Court overturned the law in 2015 that would have allowed a person to commit adultery to prison for up to two years.

The court said that the law contradicted the right of the individual to choose his partner in the exercise of relations.

In Britain, infidelity is not considered a crime, but one of the most important reasons for divorce.

Indian courts had heard petitions to review the law for the first time in 1954, on the grounds that it included discrimination.

In 1985 and 1988, the High Court of Justice responded to similar motions. A married woman asked the court to allow her to file a case against her husband’s mistress.

Two different rights commissions in 1971 and 2003 recommended the prosecution of women in the event of an offense.


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