Bigamy - Section 494 of India Penal Code

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Introduction

Bigamy means when any person marrying another person while having a husband or wife living. It is explained under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code as any person having husband or wife living and still marries another person then such marriage is void and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and they shall also be liable to fine. But if the first marriage has been declared void by the competent court then it doesn't fall under Section 494 of I.P.C. It shall not be applied if the person wasn't living and having no information for seven years.

 

Requisites of bigamy under Section 494 of I.P.C -

1. The accused had married the complainant.

2. The accused has married again while the first marriage was valid and subsisting.

3. Both the marriage of the accused is valid and performed all the rituals and ceremonies as mentioned in Hindu marriage act.

 

Aggrieved Person Under Section 494 of IPC, the aggrieved person is considered as first wife and second wife of the accused or any complainant who filed the case on her behalf by her father,mother, brother, sister or any relative. When second marriage is no offence If the first marriage of the accused is not subsisting then the second marriage is valid.

 

In Smt. Padi v. Union of India (1963), the court held that the second marriage is no offence if the first marriage is not subsisting.

In Sankaran Sukumaran v. Krishnan Saraswathy (1984), the Court held that the second marriage is no offence if it is entered into in a bona fide belief that marriage wasn't subsisting.

Proof - In P. Sahyanaraya v. C.S. Shanti(1987), the Court held that the complainant has to prove that marriage is legal and valid and mere admission of the accused is not sufficient to prove the marriage.

In Gomathi v. Vijayaraghavan( 1995), the Court held that the complainant has to prove that the second marriage took place with essential ceremonies and when it was performed the first marriage was in subsistence.

Suraj Lal Jaiswal v. State of U.P (2006), the Court held that if the complainant failed to prove that the second marriage was performed with ritual as mentioned in Hindu marriage act and there is no evidence of marriage then the complaint will be quashed.

 

 

 

 

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