Adultery verdict: When Justice Chandrachud overruled his father's 33 year old judgement
Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud on Thursday created a history of sorts when he overruled a judgement of his father, Justice YV Chandrachud, who had in 1985 upheld the constitutional validity of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code. While declaring adultery as unconstitutional, Justice Chandrachud has set aside his father's judgment.
He said the autonomy is intrinsic in dignified human existence and Section 497 denudes women from making choices and held adultery as a relic of past. Legislature has imposed a condition on sexuality of women by making adultery as offence, he said, adding that section 497 is denial of substance of equality.
This is the second time that junior Chandrachud has overruled the father.
Last year, in the privacy judgment, Justice DY Chandrachud, writing the judgement for four judges including Chief Justice JS Khehar in the right to privacy case, observed that the judgements rendered by all the judges (including his father) constituting the majority in the ADM Jabalpur "are seriously flawed".
In the judgement in the ADM Jabalpur case, Justice Chandrachud Sr had written that the right to personal liberty has no hallmark and therefore when the right is put in action it is impossible to identify whether the right is one given by the Constitution or prior to its enactment.
Justice YV Chandrachud was the longest-serving Chief Justice of India.
The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down colonial-era anti-adultery law, saying it was unconstitutional, dented the individuality of women and treated them as "chattel of husbands".
The apex court's five-judge Constitution bench was unanimous in striking down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code dealing with the offence of adultery, holding it as manifestly arbitrary, archaic and violative of the rights to equality and equal opportunity to women.
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