Judgment by Apex Court scrapping adultery law applies to all pending proceedings even with the retrospective effect

Chetan Kumar Vs The State of Punjab and others

Punjab & Haryana HC



About/from the judgment:

The High Court has quashed a complaint filed in 2014 alleging an offence of Adultery, in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Joseph Shine vs. Union of India.


The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had, on 27th September 2018, struck down 158 year old Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes adultery.


Relying on this judgment, the accused had approached the High Court contending that the complaint and the subsequent proceedings against him for offence under Section 497 IPC were liable to be quashed. Placing reliance on Maj. Genl. A.S.Gauraya vs.S.N.Thakur, it was contended that a declaration of law by the Supreme Court applies to all pending proceedings even with retrospective effect.


Accepting these contentions, court quashed the complaint, summoning order and subsequent proceedings in the case.


In Maj. Genl. A.S.Gauraya, it was held that law laid down by the Supreme Court applies to all pending proceedings. There is nothing like any prospective operation alone of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, it was observed while setting aside a High Court judgment which had observed that 'a pronouncement as to the position of law in a judicial decision by the Supreme Court cannot be treated as a sort of legislation by the Parliament giving retrospective effect as to enjoin reopening of all matters which have already become final and closed.'


The Bombay and Kerala High Courts have also quashed pending proceedings in complaints alleging adultery on the same ground.

Read the Judgment

Knowledge and content of about almost all their respective descriptions are borrowed from law-related blogs and websites, we, therefore, wish to give proper credit to all the respective law-related blogs and websites like LiveLaw, Bar and Bench, LatestLaws, PathLegal, FirstLaw, Lawctopus, IndianKanoon, Manupatra, LegallyIndia etc.. Many of the judgments are also taken from them websites of Hon'ble Supreme Court and other respective Hon'ble High Courts!

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