Extramarital affair is not a crime, rules SC

The apex court ruled that a man cannot be jailed for having an extramarital affair.
Supreme Court of India

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that an individual cannot be prosecuted for cruelty because of an extra-marital affair he had. Ruling on an appeal by a man from Kolar  the SC set aside the verdict by Karnataka High court sentencing him for 4 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50000 .The High court had convicted him for cruelty against the wife and abetment of her suicide.

“Extramarital relationship, per se, would not come within the ambit of Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. It would be an illegal or immoral act, but other ingredients are to be brought home so that it would constitute a criminal offence,” said a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra.

The bench also observed that “Solely because the husband is involved in an extramarital relationship and there is some suspicion in the mind of wife, that cannot be regarded as mental cruelty which would attract mental cruelty for satisfying the ingredients of Section 306, IPC,”