Man is not owner of wife’s sexuality: Justice DY Chandrachud

NEW DELHI: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, struck down Indian Penal Code Section 497. Justice D Y Chandrachud  while striking down the anti-adultery law said  that a married woman can make her own sexual choices. By marrying, she has not consented to refrain from sexual relations outside marriage without the permission of her husband. A husband is not the owner of his wife’s sexuality.

Justice DY Chandrachud, who was part of a five-judge constitution bench said the provision was “destructive” and deprives women of their “autonomy, dignity and privacy.” To be human involves the ability to fulfil sexual desires in the pursuit of happiness, Justice Chandrachud said.

The ability to make choices within marriage and on every aspect concerning it is a facet of human liberty and dignity which the Constitution protects,” Justice Chandrachud observed. Far from being an equal partner in an equal relationship, Section 497 subjugated a married woman entirely to the will of her spouse, he wrote.

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