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Supreme Court Has Done Well to Legally Reaffirm Women’s Right to Choose Sexual Partners. So What?

A picture of India's supreme court
The Court’s verdict decriminalising adultery must not blind us to the imminent and much greater threats to women’s sexual freedom in India.

Taking the Supreme Court’s judgement in Joseph Shine v Union of India seriously in the time of so-called “love jihad” violence, “anti-Romeo squads” and “honour killings” (that are actually caste murders), requires a herculean effort to overcome cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, the Supreme Court is adamant that the right to privacy as protected under Article 21 of the Constitution of India gives women the right to choose their sexual partners and on the other, a woman who actually chooses to do so must run the gauntlet of sanctions imposed by her own family, society and the Indian state. Reading the judgement holding Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional, one cannot help but ask a pertinent question: “So what?”

Read the full article where it was originally published in the Scroll.

This article was originally published in the Scroll.

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