Adultery is understood as a voluntary sexual action by a married person with another married or unmarried individual. Almost every religion condemns it and treats it as an unpardonable sin. Indian Penal Code (IPC) perceives adultery as a consensual sexual intercourse between a man, married or unmarried, and a married woman without the consent or connivance of her husband. Only a man can be prosecuted for the offence of adultery under the IPC. An adulteress “wife” is absolutely free from criminal responsibility. A women cannot even be punished for “abetting” the offence. Adultery law, assumes that the “wife” was a helpless victim of adultery.
At the outset, the legal system in India is based on British Common Law. The primary sources of law in India are(I) the Constitution,(ii) legislative enactments (statutes), (iii) case law, and (iv) customary law. At the apex of the judiciary system is the Supreme Court of India (“Supreme Court”). The Supreme Court exercises original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. All other courts in the country, including state high courts (“High Courts”) and other lower courts are subordinate to the Supreme Court and are bound to follow decisions of the Supreme Court.