Abhinav Sekhri


Adultery is a crime in India, punishable with up to five years imprisonment under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. When you took this fact in, perhaps like me your first reaction was outrage at the State's apparent intrusion into the seemingly private sexual realms of life. Such prudes, those Legislators: imposing their moral compass on the unsuspecting citizenry. In truth, it is a bit more complicated, though I argue that the initial assessment is not far off. The paper begins considering principles guiding criminalisation of conduct, to determine whether some principled justifications exist for criminalising adultery. I then move to the substantive section of the paper: arguing that Section 497 must be repealed by the Legislature for inter alia perpetrating invidious discrimination between sexes.

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Abhinav Sekhri, 'The Good, The Bad and The Adulterous: Criminal Law and Adultery in India' (2014) 10(1) Socio-Legal Review 47

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