Govt seeks to criminalize adultery only for the Armed Forces

Govt seeks to criminalize adultery only for the armed forces

The Ministry of Defence has recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court which sought to exempt armed forces personnel from the Constitution Bench judgment that decriminalized adultery (Section 497) in 2018. This plea was looking into the issue that the Army personnel would be far away from their families and not like any “untoward activity” by their partners. Article 33 of the Indian Constitution, allows the government to restrict the fundamental rights of the army personnel in the interest of national security. Therefore, the Armed force and Navy are governed by special legislation, and that they should be treated differently. Even though adultery is not specifically stated in the Army Act, army personnel are court marshalled for “unbecoming conduct.” It does not matter if the offense was done, by either a male or female officer. A bench led by Justice R.F. Nariman decided to refer the issue to the CJI with a request to assign it to a five-judge Bench to give a judgment.