Adultery as a crime
Adultery--the very word that makes a shiver run down the spine and heart pound with a great velocity as a woman comes to know that her husband is having an affair with another woman. Adultery is a disease of the mind and the soul that has completely shattered so many relationships and ruined family values. We live in a society where marriages are considered sacred and the bonding between the couple as holy. To ruin such a bonding is truly ethically wrong.
In Bangladesh adultery is addressed in section 497 of the Penal Code which states that 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. And if we speak of Sharia law, lashes are to be given till death to the people who have committed Zina, making the punishment even more severe in nature.
Hence, when people are doing adultery be it secretly or openly and are proud of their vague desires, should be punished in a way to teach them a lesson as to the consequences of these acts. Yes, one may argue that if adultery takes place, then give a divorce, but what about the feelings, the sleepless nights, the cravings of the heart, the burning of the eyes, the loneliness of the heart, the emptiness of the mind, the drench of water from the eyes. Can they all be fixed?
Yes, one may start to develop feelings but that does not give the person right to do whatever one wants out of free will. And when these things arise, children are left with huge scars in their young minds just for the lust of one of their parents committing adultery. Not only that, adultery leads one to tell lies, hide things, spoil valuable relationships. Be it morally, ethically or even socially, adultery is a crime and needs to be strictly handled.
Divorces are on the rise and relationships have become very fragile. In an era where free mind and will dominates, there are some values that we should always cherish and respect because that is who we are and that is how things should be.
Barrister Sabrina Zarin is a partner at the FM Associates and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh