Is economic independence of women causing adultery?? Are Public Exposure of Women, Their Mingling in Offices & Forced Marriages Reasons for Extramarital Relations? Asks Madras HC?? Let’s see the very many factors which has led to such situation, which is on the increase.

"The marital relationship is considered to be sacred. However, what is to be sacred is dangerously fast becoming scary shattering families due to outside conjugal relationship.” Terming extra-marital relationship as a 'dangerous social evil', the Madras High Court has asked a score of questions to Central and State Governments, to 'find out' the reasons leading to such relationships. The bench comprising Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice Abdul Quddhose expressed concern over the day-by day increasing clandestine relationships which ultimately leads to serious and heinous crimes like Murder, kidnap etc. The court began its judgment with these observations:

""Extra-marital relationship"has become a dangerous social evil nowadays. Many heinous crimes including ghastly murders, assaults, kidnappings, etc., are committed because of clandestine relationships and they are alarmingly increasing day-by-day. Most of the killings are either by husbands or wives to eliminate his or her cheating partner, the paramour and shockingly even children. Moreover, murders are being committed either by husband or wife to continue the relationship with paramour."”

The bench essentially wanted to know whether the following are factors for increase in such immoral/extramarital relationships: TV Serials, cinemas, economic independence of Spouses, social media, westernisation, alcohol, nuclear family system, non-teaching of moral/ethical values in schools, forced arranged marriages, more public exposure of working women and their mingling with office colleagues.

The bench was considering a habeas corpus petition challenging detention of one Ajith kumar under the Goondas Act. Ajith Kumar and several others are accused of murdering one Joseph, over an issue of illicit relationship they had with one lady. While quashing the detention order, the bench observed:

"Extra-marital relationship is the basic reason for the murder in this case. Marriage in India is based on love, faith, trust and legitimate expectation. The marital relationship is considered to be sacred. However, what is to be sacred is dangerously fast becoming scary shattering families due to outside conjugal relationship."

The court then kept the matter pending and impleaded Union Ministry of Family Welfare and the State Government. The bench said:

In view of spurt in offences, especially, murders due to extra-marital affairs, it is the bounden duty of this Court to address the issue. In an effort to find out the reasons and find ways and means to address the issue of "Extra-Marital Relationship" and to prevent/reduce the related offences, queries are being raised by this Court."

The bench then directed the Centre and State Government to respond to these 20 queries. Though the bench has clarified that, the queries are neither 'opinion nor finding or conclusions of the Court', one of them (highlighted below) looks so controversial.

How many murders took place in Chennai as well as in Tamil Nadu and in India for the past 10 years due to extra-marital affairs? [Year wise details to be given.]

How many offences like suicide, kidnapping, assault, etc., other than murder were committed due to illicit intimacy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and in India for the past 10 years?

Whether there is phenomenal increase in the number of offences due to immoral relationship year by year?

Is it a fact that the Mega Television Serials and Cinemas are major reasons for the increase in scandalous relationship in our country?

Whether Mega Television Serials and Cinemas invariably give clue to the people involved in clandestine relationships to commit the offences including murders and kidnapping?

Whether spouses are increasingly engaging paid killers to get rid-off their life partners?

Is it a fact that the economic independence of both the spouses is responsible for spurt in extra-marital affairs?

Is it a fact that the increase in illicit relationships is because of sexual dysfunctions or deficiencies of the spouses?

Does the spurt in scandalous affairs due to internet which offers platforms, like, Facebook, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc., giving many chances for strangers to get connected?

Whether the increase in clandestine relationship is due to westernisation of our culture and way of life?

Are illicit affairs due to invalidity of men due to their alcohol addiction?

Whether illicit intimacy is due to lack of quality time spent by the spouses with each other, depriving of their emotional, psychological support and physical comfort and pleasure?

Whether better public exposure of women, who rightly broke restrictive customs, and their mingling with third parties in their offices or professions are some of the reasons for clandestine relationship?

Whether breaking away of joint family system and formation of nucleus family are responsible for the increase in extra-marital relationship?

Is it correct to say that non-teaching of moral and ethical values in the schools is primarily responsible for many social evils including illicit affairs?

Is it a fact that scandalous relationships are due to conduct of arranged marriages contrary to the wishes of the bride or bridegroom?

Does mismatch of couples cause illicit intimacy?

What are all the sociological, psychological and economic factors responsible for spurt in extra-marital relationship?

Why not the Central Government and the State Government constitute an Expert Committee headed by a Retired Supreme Court Judge/Retired High Court Judge, consisting of psychologists, psychiatrists, andrologists, neurologists, physicians, social activists, Non-Governmental Organisations who work for safeguarding the families, to study and analyse the reasons for the social menace of extra-marital relationship and find out the reason for increase in illicit relationship/extra-marital relationship and give suggestions/solutions to arrest the evil and prevent connected offences in the interest of families/society?

Why not the respondents constitute Family Counselling Centre to give counselling to the spouses in every District?

It is imperative to note, the order by the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra that said, “When parties to a marriage lose their moral commitment to the relationship, it creates a dent in the marriage and it will depend upon the parties how to deal with the situation. Some may exonerate and live together and some may seek divorce…. A punishment is unlikely to establish commitment”.

Practically seen, it is the void in the marriage, between the partners or the spouses which is already existing, which is being addressed or capitalised by another third party, totally not related to the marriage, who develops an emotional bond with one of the spouses,which creates all shakiness, confusion in wedded lives. Yes, social media does its own damage, but the it’s for the couples to draw a line when it involves a third party to a marriage, what starts as a good friendship, later leads to unprecedented chaos. With decriminalisation of ADULTERY, it will be seen as a very legitimate thing to do, which would eventually land in couples being divorced or live in such a way of life, which would make it seem the most normal thing to do. It is all these factors which lead to EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIRS/FLINGS.