497 of ipc (adultery). what constitute a "condonation"

My question is about section 497 of IPC (adultery). Religion of all parties involved is Hindu. The petitioner (Husband) is aiming to file a case against Wife (respondent-A) and the Man (respondent-B, i.e. the man accused to be the adulterer) . Husband and Wife were married for 20 years. As proof of adultery the Husband has few photos, which are taken in public of the wife and respondent-B (but not of any close nature), and also proof that the wife and the respondent-B have traveled together (both within India and abroad) and checked into hotel together. Now the knowledge of this affair has come to the Husband on 16-Oct-2017 after which the husband accepted the wife back and started living a regular married life (cohabited), as the wife promised not keep any contact with the Man (respondent-B) again in future. However, as a background to this case, and the reason probably the wife strayed from marriage bonding is because, the husband was mentally abusing to the wife for sometime. Which of course continued now after this knowledge of her affair. So finally the wife decides to file for divorce in Jan-2018 on “cruelty” ground. But now the husband threatens her, that if she files for divorce, the husband will file under 497 against both her (wife) and the man (respondent-B). So, my question is - A) Given the husband took back the wife in Oct-2017 and lived a regular married life (cohabited) for 3 months, would that be considered a “Condonation” by the husband under section 497. B) And if its indeed considered “Condonation” would the husband still be able proceed with the charge against both wife and the Man (respondent-B) under section 497. C) More generally, what really is the length of time for wife and husband to stay together (cohabiting) after knowledge of affair, to prove “Condonation” by Husband.

Charges under section 497 IPC can only be made by the husband against the man who had physical relationship with his wife, and not against his wife. Read:

Section 497 Adultery.—Whoever has s*xual 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 s*xual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.


I'm not a lawyer but not only wife can't be prosecuted it also seems insufficient evidenced to get a conviction for the adulterer, if indeed he is which I'm myself not convinced.

It's neither consent nor connivance but the evidence can't prove the adultery.


She can go ahead and file for divorce. She cannot be punished. It is difficult to get conviction for the other. If he files case under Section: 497, it will become easier for the wife to get divorce.


First thing you should ask yourself is what you want from the case? Divorce? Defame the wife? Defame the other man? Total mental scenario for you? Mental peace? Do you know that other man?



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