Extra-marital affair: Will woman too be punished?

Extra-marital affair: Will woman too be punished?

If a male person has an affair with a married woman without her husband's consent, he is accused of committing adultery and is liable to be prosecuted.  Says Section 497 of the IPC: “Whoever has s*xual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such s*xual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery”. 

This provision has been challenged by a petitioner in the Supreme Court.  “When the s^xual intercourse takes place with the consent of both the parties, there is no good reason for excluding one party from the liability," the petitioner has argued.

The SC is looking into the matter and it has to be seen what the SC will say on the issue.  Ideally, the highest court should abrogate Section 497, which criminalizes consensual s^x and makes only men liable.  But as per some experts, the SC might actually make even women too liable if they commit adultery.