AHMEDABAD/NAGPUR: Gujarat high court has upheld a lower court’s definition of adultery, where it said that a couple of lapses in behaviour, if they are unwitting, cannot be called adultery. However, a singular premeditated act of sexual intercourse by one spouse with another person would be adultery.
The HC upheld these observations while refusing maintenance to a wife, who admittedly was found living an adulterous life. The court also upheld the payment of maintenance to a minor child by his father, but not to the wife because she was in a relationship with a third person.
This case is from Patan district. The woman unsuccessfully moved a magisterial court for alimony according to the provisions of section 125 of CrPC. She then approached a sessions court, which also denied her maintenance on account of her extra-marital relationship. In its order, the sessions court said, “One or two lapses or an occasional incident may be condoned, provided that they are unwitting. Sometimes, a situation arise whereupon, even without design or thought in mind, a young person may indulge in an intimate act. But an act of sexual intercourse by a spouse with another person, predetermined or preconceptualized, even if it is a singular act, would be adultery.”
The court was not ready to pardon the woman for her continuous relations with a man other than her husband. Describing the relationship, the court wrote, “Had it been a one-night stand and if it arose out of an excusable situation, it would be a lapse. But in this case, the woman has voluntarily indulged in sexual intercourse with predetermination and clear mindset with a person other than her husband and that too during her pregnancy. Such relationships cannot be termed as one or two lapses. Conspicuously exhibiting such an act is adultery.”
On the rejection of alimony upon such observation, the high court judge writes, “I am of view that no error, not to speak of any error of law could be said to have been committed by the courts below.”