Armed Forces must have disciplinary mechanism to curb adultery: SC

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Supreme Court of India. [File Photo]

New Delhi: Armed forces must have some kind of mechanism for disciplinary proceedings against army officers for committing adultery, the Supreme Court of India said on Thursday.

The top court added that adultery creates ‘pain’ in a family and it should not be treated in a lighter manner.

“In uniformed services, discipline is of paramount importance. This is conduct that can shake up the life of officers. Everybody is ultimately dependent on the family as a unit of society. The integrity of society is based on the faithfulness of one spouse to another,” the court said, as per PTI.

The report quoting a judgement of a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, said: “This (adultery) is going to shake the discipline in the armed forces. Armed forces must have some kind of assurance that they will take action. How can you cite Joseph Shine (judgement) and say it cannot be”.

It said the top court 2018 judgement, which declared penal provision on adultery as unconstitutional, cannot be referred to halt disciplinary proceedings against guilty.

“Adultery creates pain in a family. We have held so many sessions as judges in the high courts and seen so families are torn. We are telling you that do not treat this in a lighter manner. There was one incident where the mother, who committed adultery filed a habeas corpus plea seeking custody of her children. They (children) refused to talk to the mother. That’s the kind of hate that happens,” the bench observed, as per PTI.

The top court, on a plea filed by NRI Joseph Shine, in 2018 had struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, dealing with the offence of adultery while holding it unconstitutional.


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