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Ministry of Defence (MoD) seeks to exempt armed forces personnel from the ambit of decriminalization of adultery

  • IASbaba
  • January 14, 2021
  • 0
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Ministry of Defence (MoD) seeks to exempt armed forces personnel from the ambit of decriminalization of adultery

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Defence and Security 

In news 

  • The Supreme Court recently admitted a petition filed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). 
  • MoD has sought to exempt armed forces personnel from the ambit of a Constitution Bench judgment of 2018 that decriminalised adultery.

Key takeaways 

  • A three-judge Bench led by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said the plea had to be considered by a Constitution Bench because the original verdict, striking down Section 497 (adultery) of the IPC, was pronounced by a five-judge Bench in September 2018. 
  • The court referred the case to the Chief Justice to pass appropriate orders to form a five-judge Bench to clarify the impact of the 2018 judgment on the armed forces.

Reason given by the government for seeking exemption:

  • There will always be a concern in the minds of the Army personnel who are operating far away from their families under challenging conditions about the family indulging in untoward activity.
  • Personnel of the Army, Navy and the Air Force were a “distinct class”. 
  • They were governed by special legislation, the Army Act, the Navy Act and the Air Force Act. 
  • Adultery amounted to an unbecoming conduct and a violation of discipline under the three Acts.
  • The three laws were protected by Article 33 of the Constitution, which allowed the government to modify the fundamental rights of the armed forces personnel.

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