What is the Difference between “Adultery” and “Rape” – Explained!

Adultery:

1. Adultery is defined in Section 497 in Chapter XX (Offences relating to Marriage.)

2. Adultery is lesser offence than Rape.

3. The affected party is the husband. His family institution and dignity shall be destroyed by the third person. In the society, he is humiliated. He suffers mental agony. He does not suffer physical torture.

4. Only married woman and third person take part in this offence.

5. She is the consenting party to the offence. She also takes active part in the sexual intercourse voluntarily and most probably with sexual desire, love and affection.

6. There are no such types of heinous nature incidents in adultery.

7. Sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman, or with a widow, or a divorcee woman or with a woman, whose husband gives his consent, did not constitute the offence of Adultery.

8. Adultery cannot be committed by a husband with his own wife.

9. In the case of adultery, the proceedings are initiated by the husband. No other person, except husband, is entitled to initiate the proceedings under Sec. 497.

10. Adultery is a good legal ground for the other spouse to obtain divorce, or any other matrimonial reliefs.

11. Courts show sympathy on the aggrieved husband.

12. Punishment: Punishment is lesser than the offence of rape. Punishment is five years or fine or with both.

Rape:

1. Rape is defined and explained in Sections 375 to 376-D under a separate Heading “Sexual Offences” in Chapter-XVI (Offences affecting human body.)

2. Rape is serious offence than adultery. It is very heinous, barbarous.

3. The woman raped is really affected party. She suffers physical and mental tensions and grievances. She suffers physical torture.

4. Irrespective age, marital status, etc. any woman may be subjected to this offence.

5. The affected party does not give her consent. Even if she has given her consent, it might be due to the force, fear of death or injury or due to undue influence, etc. No woman likes to be raped.

6. Custodial Rape, gang rape are the most severe natured offences.

7. Rape can be committed on any woman irrespective of age, and her marital status, whether married or unmarried.

8. When a husband enjoys sex with his own wife, while she is in separation from him, it is said the offence of Rape is committed.

9. Generally, the proceedings are initiated by the State through the police on behalf of the victim. The Law presumes that the offence of rape is not committed on the victim, but also on the entire society.

10. Rape cannot be argued as a ground to obtain the divorce or any other matrimonial reliefs.

11. Courts show sympathy on victim woman.

12. Punishment: Punishment is severe than adultery. Punishment is seven years plus fine. In custodial rape, punishment ranges from ten years to life with fine.