BY KOMAL SINGH AT LEXCLIQ
Bigamy in India
According to section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1995 the conditions necessary at the time of marriage is that both the partners getting married should not be having a leaving spouse.
But there is an exception provided by section 494 of IPC , it states that either of the partners can contract a second marriage after the long absence of her partner for the period of seven years.
Essentials of section 494 of the IPC,
●The first marriage should be according to the law. That is it should be legal.
●Second marriage should have taken place.
●The first marriage should be existing
●The spouse must be alive
●Both marriages should be valid.
It is a non-cognizable offene even its a bailable offence.
Who can file bigamy charges:
The person who has been cheated by their spouse in the contract of second marriage can only file a case against the person under this Section. The first spouse does not have the right to file a complaint under this Section.
☆Proofs require for lodging complaint in bigamy?
None. In the case of Neelaveni vs State Rep. Insp. Of Police & Ors , where the aggrieved wife appealed in high court decision for quashing a charge the chargesheet under sec.406 and sec.494 in the IPC. It was held “Report and the materials collected during the course of the investigation are truth to be considered” and ” Truthfulness or otherwise of the allegations is not fit to be gone into at this stage as it is always a matter of trial” evn though no evidence is required to lodge a complaint. It is always useful to collect evidence as mentioned above to solidify case in trial.
☆When is second marriage valid ?
If the competent court has declared first marriage of such person void.
If any person marries during the existence of first marriage and husband and wife of that person is continually absent for seven years and have not been heard of by such person as being alive within that person . But facts should be disclosed to the person , with whom second marriage is contracted.
If any person comes under this exception, then contracting second marriage should not be considered as Offence, unless otherwise proved.