India’s top court has ruled adultery is no longer a criminal offence.
The Supreme Court overturned a 158-year-old law which said any man who had sex with a married woman, without the permission of her husband, was guilty of the criminal act of adultery.
It is not clear how many men have been prosecuted under the law since its inception – there is no data available.
A petitioner had challenged the law saying it was arbitrary and discriminated against men and women.
While reading out the judgement, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said: “adultery can be ground for civil issues including dissolution of marriage but it cannot be a criminal offence”.
He added that the law discriminated against women, saying “treating women with indignity or discrimination invites the wrath of the constitution”.