Gujarat HC judge says unwitting sexual intercourse not adultery
Representational image (Wikimedia commons)

The Gujarat High Court has upheld a lower court's definition of adultery, which said a few lapses in a relationship by one spouse with another person, if unwitting, will not be counted as adultery.

These observations were made while the high court rejected financial maintenance to a woman from Patan district from her husband because she was involved in a relationship with another man, outside of her marriage. The court also upheld the lower court's decision to provide maintenance to the couple's minor child from the father, but not to the woman, according to news reports.

The woman had first moved the magisterial court asking for alimony from her husband under the provisions of Section 125 of the CrPC, but she was rejected maintenance. Then she moved the sessions court, but was again denied her plea. 

The sessions court said that "one or two lapses or an occasional incident may be condoned, provided they are unwitting", but if a spouse is involved in an act of sexual intercourse with a third person that is "predetermined or preconceptualized even if it is a singular act, would be adultery."

Echoing the lower court's decision, the high court said if it was a one-night stand that arose "out of an excusable situation, it would be a lapse."

It further said that in the woman's case she was voluntarily involved in sexual intercourse, that too during her pregnancy with "predetermination and clear mindset with a person other than her husband," and such acts "cannot be termed as one or two lapses."

Refusing alimony to the woman upon the observation, the high court judge wrote, "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."

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