Centre asks Supreme Court to keep adultery a crime in armed forces

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to examine Union government’s plea urging to exempt armed forces from the purview of its 2018 judgment of decriminalizing the criminal offence of adultery.

A bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued notice on the Centre’s plea and sent the matter to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde for listing it before a five-judge bench.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for MoD, told the court that the September 27, 2018 judgment of the court in the Joseph Shine v Union of India case, striking down adultery as an offence could come in the way of armed forces personnel being convicted for adulterous acts under the Army Act, Navy Act and Air Force Act.

‘The Army, Navy and Air Force have provisions under which those caught in adulterous acts are liable to be punished for unbecoming conduct by which they can be court-martialed,’ Venugopal said.