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The Law of Jealousies

In antiquity, during the time of Moses, the ancient law of jealousies nailed the adulterous woman while for her male counterpart it was the law of silence that prevailed. And if you think that modernity has changed the laws much. You err. Those laws of an ancient culture still hold today. They give the balls of man much license and freedom of movement. It is ridiculously funny. Interestingly in the New Testament Jesus did intervene, but the lawmakers (some of these laws are inherited from the British Raj) looked to antiquity to script the modern laws that are all too archaic.

To quote from the Holy Bible

Numbers Chapter 5: Vs 13 to 17

If any man’s wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,

And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no close witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner.

And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:

Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense theron; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.

And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord.

And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put into the water.

Vs 27

And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people…..

Vs 29
This is the law of jealousies…..

What has changed? Nothing really.

Advocate Jijo Paul of the Kerala High Court dug this out for me.

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code reads as under:

"497. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall be punishable as an abettor."

This is the provision of law that makes adultery punishable. If you read the provision carefully the offence is committed when a man has sexual intercourse with THE WIFE OF ANOTHER MAN.

The Law of Silence prevails even today.

If an unmarried woman has sex with a married man then it is no criminal offence.

The validity of this provision was challenged before the Supreme Court but the court upheld the law.

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