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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

AN ANALYSIS OF LAW ON BIGAMY: COMPARISON OF FAMILY LAW AND CRIMINAL LAW

Submitted in the partial completion of B.A.LL.B (Hons.) III Semester __________________________________________________________________

Submitted to:
Ms. Gagan Preet

Submitted by: Group16


Shivam Mishra Sonam Gupta (516) (536)

Devanshu Tripathi (556) Utkarsh Bhatnagar(576)

RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW, PUNJAB


NOVEMBER 2011

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
On the successful completion of this project, we would like to thank our honorable Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jaswal, and our esteemed Registrar, Dr. G.I.S. Sandhu, for their inexplicable greatness to find time to educate us as and when they find an opportunity.

We would also like to thank our respected mentor, our Family Law Professor, Ms. Gagan Preet who despite all of her pre-occupations, provided us all the assistance we needed for the accomplishment of this project and guided us while we tread on the tenebrous boulevard of ignorance. Had it not been for her support we wouldnt be able to grasp the cognizance of something as enthralling as this. We thank her profusely for providing us this engrossing topic to work on which helped us to learn and relearn, to explore and re-explore our knowledge of the political literature.

We would like to convey our gratitude towards our friends and batch mates who have rendered us their valuable time and without their help this project would not have been in its present shape and form. No work is complete with solo endeavor, neither is ours. We thank each and every non-teaching staff of RGNUL for their unconditional support and infinitum. We would also like to convey our thanks to the Library Staff of RGNUL.

We are grateful to The Almighty, who has given us enough strength and blessings to work hard and make it to the best of our ability. Last but not the least; we thank our parents who have given us a chance to study in this esteemed University, a haven for legal edification.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CERTIFICATE

This project is purely based on the bonafide research work carried out under the guidance and supervision of Ms. Gagan Preet and the same has not been submitted anywhere for any other purpose whatsoever, to the best of our knowledge. Shivam Mishra Sonam Gupta (516) (536)

Devanshu Tripathi (556) Utkarsh Bhatnagar(576)

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law OBJECTIVE OF STUDY The main aim of this project is to analyze the law of bigamy under the Hindu law as well as Criminal law. We have also dealt with the various statutory provisions and sections of IPC to draw a comparative analysis of the law on Bigamy. The validity under the Hindu law and the offence under the Criminal law analyses the concept of Bigamy from the point of view of comparison. Also, the offence committed by conversion to Islam is shown by the report of the law commission of India. This will help the evaluator to understand the law of Bigamy from every aspect along with the position of Bigamy in current scenario.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

TABLE OF CONTENT
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 7 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. Historical Perspective ................................................................................................................... 7 Definition and Types..................................................................................................................... 8 Statutory Provisions .................................................................................................................... 11

CHAPTER 2: BIGAMY UNDER FAMILY LAW .................................................................................... 14 2.1. Validity of Marriage ........................................................................................................................ 14 2.2. Maintenance ..................................................................................................................................... 16 2.2.1. Maintenance to first wife .......................................................................................................... 17 2.2.2. Legitimacy Of Children ............................................................................................................ 18 2.2.3. Property rights ........................................................................................................................... 19 2.3.Current Scenario ............................................................................................................................... 20 2.4. Under Muslim Law ......................................................................................................................... 21 CHAPTER 3: UNDER CRIMINAL LAW ................................................................................................. 24 3.1. Offence Even After Consent ............................................................................................................ 24 3.2. Punishment For Bigamy .................................................................................................................. 25 3.3. Exceptions Under Section 494 Of The IPC 1860 ............................................................................ 28 3.4.Cognizance And Procedure For Prosecution .................................................................................... 29 3.5.Compounding of offence of Bigamy ................................................................................................ 30 CHAPTER 4: COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS ............................................................................................. 32 4.1. Family law v. Criminal Law ............................................................................................................ 32 4.2. Role Of Family Courts ................................................................................................................... 33 4.2.1. Maintaining of Database ........................................................................................................... 34 4.2.2. Disposal of cases ....................................................................................................................... 34 CHAPTER 5: BIGAMY BY CONVERSION TO ISLAM ........................................................................ 36 CHAPTER 6: RECOMMENDATION ....................................................................................................... 40

CONCLUSION. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Cases
.Suman Nivrutti Satav v. Nivrutti Satav Dattu AIR 2009 Bom. 235 .......................................................... 15 Anandi Lal v. Onkar AIR 1960 Raj. 251 .................................................................................................... 14 Ashok Kumar v. Smt. Usha Kumari AIR 1960 All. 347 ............................................................................ 12 Aslam Meah v. Emperor (1917) ILR 45 Cal. 816 ......................................................................................... 29 B Chandra Manikyamma v B. Sudarsana Rao alias Saleem Mohammed 1988 CrLJ 1849........................ 35 B. C. Kurmokar v. chundra kurmokar AIR 1950 MP 1 .............................................................................. 13 Bahadur singh Dilip singh v. Kartar Singh AIR 1965 J&K 105 ................................................................. 13 Bai Wevali v. Moti Karson, ILR 22 Bom. 509. .......................................................................................... 12 Begum Subhanu v Abdul Ghafoor AIR 1987 SC 1103. ............................................................................. 21 Bikash kumar v. Nanda Devi AIR 1979 Cal. 358 ....................................................................................... 13 Chandu v. Khalihar, AIR 1959 A.P. 508 .................................................................................................... 11 Gopal v. The State of Rajasthan AIR 1979 SC 713 .................................................................................... 25 Itwari v Asghari AIR 1960 All 684 ............................................................................................................ 21 Kastoori Devi v. Chiranji Lal AIR 1960 All. 466 ....................................................................................... 12 Khaizar Basha v Indian Airlines Corporation AIR 1984 Mad 379 ............................................................. 21 Khatoon v. yaamin AIR 1982 SC 853 ........................................................................................................ 21 Kunta Devi v. Sri Ram Kalu Ram AIR 1963 Punj. 235 ............................................................................. 13 Lily Thomas v Union of India (2000) 6 SCC 224. ..................................................................................... 35 Mahesh Chand v. State of Rajasthan, 1989 Cr. L.J.121 (SC) ..................................................................... 28 MeeraNireshwalia v. Sukumar Nireshwalia AIR 1944 Mad. 168 .............................................................. 14 Mohabbat Ali v. Md. Ibrahim Khan AIR 1929 PC 687 .............................................................................. 12 Narotam Singh v State of Punjab.AIR 1978 SC 1542. ............................................................................... 22 Narottam Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 1978 SC 1542 .............................................................................. 28 Provincial Govt. v. Vipin, AIR 1945 Nag. 104 ........................................................................................... 28 Rajammal v. Moriammal, AIR 1954 Mys. 38 ............................................................................................ 12 Raz Mohammad v SaeedaAmina Begum AIR 1976 Kant 200 ................................................................... 21 re P Nagesashayya (1988) Mat LR 123 ...................................................................................................... 35 Revanasiddappa & Anr. Vs. Mallikarjun & Ors AIR 2011 SC 113 .............................................................. 16 Rose Simpson v Binimoy Biswas AIR 1980 Cal 214 ................................................................................... 9 S. Radhika Sameena v. S.H.O., Habeeb Nagar Police Station,Hyderabad 1997 CriLJ 1655 (AP). ............. 9 Santosh Kumari v Surjit Singh AIR 1980 del 324 ........................................................................................ 4 Shahina parveen v Mohd Shakeel AIR 1987 Del 210 ................................................................................ 21 Shivachevioranthi v. Sivoronvorom, ILR 1971 Mad. 395 .......................................................................... 13 Smt. Sarla Mudgal v Union of India (1995) 3 SCC 635 ............................................................................. 35 Subarna v. arjuno, AIR 1951 Orissa 337 .................................................................................................... 11 Surajmani Stella Kujur (Dr.) v Durga Charan Hansdah.AIR 2001 SC 938. ............................................... 26 Thunti v. Dhani Ram, AIR 1962 A.P. 260.................................................................................................. 13 V.K. Mannur v. State of Mysore, AIR 1965 Mys. 238 ............................................................................... 28 Veerappa v. Michael, AIR 1963 SC 833 .................................................................................................... 11 Vilayat Raj v Sunila AIR 1983 Delhi 351 .................................................................................................. 34 Submitted by group 16 Page 6

An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Family is the most vital unit of society and marriage. Under old Hindu law marriage was considered purely sacrament but the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has brought radical changes in the old concept of marriage. Now certain conditions have been laid down for a valid marriage and unless these conditions are fulfilled the validity of marriage is always in doubt. A marriage in violation of these conditions will not be valid but only a supposed, pretended and attempted marriage. The nullity of a marriage is a legal process by which a court nullifies the relationship of husband and wife which might have come into existence because the parties had gone through the ceremonies and rites for the solemnization of such marriage and renders a marriage in law a non-marriage. Except for Islam, all personal statutes in the country impose monogamy as a rule, and any marriage performed in contravention of the provisions imposing monogamy, is illegal. In fact, such marriages are void ubder almost all statutes and does not establish any relationship of husband and wife between the parties.1Apart from that, the guilty party is also liable to be punished under the penal law.2 It is significant to note that even if the first spouse desires or permits the others second marriage, it would be illegal.3 The court also passed maintenance order in favour of the wife and daughter. The High Court held that such order was absolutely wrong and illegal and against the clear provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, which does not permit second marriage during the subsistence of the first marriage.

1.1.

Historical Perspective

Polygamy prevailed in ancient India. In modern times, the Hindu Marriage Act, applicable to a majority of Indians, prohibits its practice and declares the marriage void if either of the partners have a living spouse at the time of marriage. However, in communities polygamous marriages still exist though its extent is not known. The 2005-06 National Family Health Survey4 included questions on this issue and some important findings are percent of women reported that their husband had other wives besides herself. Husbands of women with no children are more likely

Hindu Marriage Act 1955, ss 5, 11 and 17; Special Marriage Act 1954, ss 4,24, 43 and 44; Indian Divorce Act 1869, ss 18 and 19 and Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, ss 4, 5 and 11. 2 Indian Penal Code 1860, ss 494, 495 3 Santosh Kumari v Surjit Singh AIR 1980 del 324 4 Retrieved from http://paa2010.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=100754 visited on 04.11.2011

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law to have multiple wives (2.51 partners) than women who have at least one child (1.80 partners). This study proposes to analyze NFHS-3 data using advanced statistical techniques to understand the profile of women living in such polygamous marriages and to understand the cultural and regional correlates of such marriages. In India, marriage is practiced mainly for progeny and having a son is considered essential. In this context, the role of childlessness and son preference leading to polygamous marriages will be investigated. In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished, since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a few centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one. According to the 1961 census5 (the last census to record such data), polygamy was actually less prevalent among Indian Muslims (5.7%) than among several other religious groups. Incidence was highest among Adivasis (15.25%) and Buddhists (7.9%); Hindus, by comparison, had an incidence of 5.8% Although there are movements to end polygamy,some Muslims seek to preserve the practice.

1.2.

Definition and Types

Most of the personal laws in India now recognize Monogamy6 as a rule of marriage and bigamy7 has been made a ground for the decree of nullity of marriage. But from the ancient times till the enactment of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, polygamy was recognized in one way or the other under the hindu legal system. by the support of various social reformers of India, some legislative enactments were adopted to abolish the evil of bigamy. But monogamy amongst all the Hindu, as a rule was introduced only after the passage of HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955, 19558. Now, after the passing of this act, monogamy has been accepted as a rule under section 5(i) and bigamy has been made a ground of nullity of marriage under section 11 of the act.

Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=uDVHN6xkdiMC&pg=PA78#v=onepage&q&f=false visited on 04.11.2011. 6 Section 5(i), the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, section 4(a), the special Marriage act, 1954, Section 19(4), the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, section 18, the Foreign Marriage act,1969. 7 Section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955,, section 24(1)(i) of the Special marriage Act, 1954, section 19(4) of the Indian Divorce act,1869. 8 The Bombay Prevention of Hindu Bigamous Marriage Act, 1948. The Madras Hindu Act, 1949.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Above all, under the provision of section 17 of the act, it has also been made an offence under the Penal law of India.9 Definition- Etymologically, the word bigamous can be dissevered into two parts: bi which means twice and gamous which means marriage10, but the term bigamy as defined by different authors as follows: Corpus juris scundum11 states that bigamy is willfully and knowingly contracting a second marriage where the contracting party knows that the first marriage is still subsisting. In Jwitts dictionary of English law bigamy is said to be, committed by any person, who, being married, marries any other person during the life of the former wife or husband. In Bouviers law dictionary12, bigamy is said to be, the state of a man who has two wives, or of a women who has two husbands, living at the same time. The Oxford Companion to law13 states that bigamy is the offence of purporting to marry another during the subsistence of a valid prior marriage. Thus, from the perusal of the above stated definitions of bigamy following ingredients can be drawn: There must be a valid marriage, While the first marriage is subsisting, either spouse have contracted a second marriage That the second marriage must have been solemnized by observing necessary ceremonies.

Types- Bigamy, which is sometimes termed as polygamy, is of two types: Polygyny and polyandry. Polygamy is also termed as plural marriage. (A) Polygyny Polygyny means marriage of one man with two or more than two wives at a time. Polygyny is generally called polygamy, but strictly speaking the later term is a general one which includes both, polyandry and polygyny. Polygyny was prevalent in many societies and still prevails in some societies14. It is found in Eskimo tribes, crow and hfdasta of North America and African
9

Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 New websters dictionary, First edition, 1979, p.150 11 Vol. 10, p. 359 12 Fourth edition, p. 288 13 1980 Ed. , p. 128 14 Muslim Law permits polygyny upto four wives.
10

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Negroes. In primitive times, it was quite prevalent among the Assyro Babylonians and Herbrews.15 Polygyny is closely related to the institution of slavery. Generally the women captured in war were made wives and concubines of the captor. Sometimes a Raja may purchase a dozen women for wives. It is partly based on the lower sex impulses of the male and partly on the desire to have many descendants. A single marriage of a male was considered a sign of poverty and his position was considered to be superior in most of the societies, if he had more than one wives. It was considered to be an attribute of his status. In many societies, due to the participation of only men in war, the number of women was more than men which also contributed to this practice. Enforced celibacy during the period of pregnancy and while the child was being breast feed may be another reason. Another explanation may be that a spinster enjoyed no status in society, whereas a bachelor might have a place in the same society, and as a consequence of it many women got married to one man as social compulsion. In certain under developed area16, it was practiced to get cheap and reliable labourers in the form of wives. (B) Polyandry Polyandry is a form of marriage wherein one woman marries more than one man at a given time. It is relatively a rare type of marriage and is generally an improvised adjustment to certain peculiar and extreme conditions. Polyandry may take two form: fraternal and non-fraternal. In fraternal form of polyandry one woman is regarded the wife of all brothers who have sexual relation with her. The children are treated as offsprings of the eldest brother. In hindu mythology we learn than the five brothers called Pandavas shared same wife, Daropadi. The basis of recognition of this form of polyandry was to protect the division of property and it was practiced because of the economic necessity and expediency. This type of polyandry was practiced in some parts of Tibet and by Todas of Nilgiri. In non fraternal form of polyandry, one woman has many husbands with whom she cohabits in turn, it is not necessary that all those husbands be real brothers. In this case a legal problem arises in regard of ascertaining the legal father of a child of such polyandrous marriage. In such

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Vidya Bhushan and Sachdeva, An Introduction to sociology, New Delhi, Ed. 1991, p. 264 In the Himalyan ranges the men may marry many times to protect and to obtain help in their agricultural activities.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law case, the legal father is the one who is assigned the status of the father for a particular time and for this purpose, certain form of ceremony is to be performed. Lesser number of women due to fanticide, high bribe price and backwardness are considered the main reasons for the development of the practice of polyandry. It is prelevant in Tibet. It also exist in Sikkim and Ladakh and certain parts of Himanchal Pradesh and South India.17

1.3.

Statutory Provisions

Hindu Law: The relevant provisions under the Hindu Marriage act 1955 are as follows: Sec 5(i) - Conditions for a Hindu marriage- A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely: Neither party has a spouse living at the time of marriage. Section 11. Void marriages- Any marriage solemnized after the commencement of this act shall be null and void and may, on a petition presented by either party thereto, against the other, be so declared by a decree of nullity if it contravenes any one of the conditions specified in clause (i), (iv),and (v) of section 5. Section 17. Punishment for Bigamy- Any marriage between two Hindus solemnized after the commencement of this act is void as if at the date of such marriage either party had a husband or living wife; and the provisions of the sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 shall apply accordingly.18 Special Marriage Act: Monogamy is the rule under the Special Marriage Act 1954. Among the conditions for solemnization of a civil marriage spelt out in the Act the foremost is that neither party has a spouse living.19 In respect of bigamy there are two different penal provisions under the Act. If a person already married, under whatever law, fraudulently contracts a civil marriage the provision of Section 43 of the Act reproduced below will apply:
17 18

The kotas of Hindus. Kusum, Family Law Lecture I, Butterworths Wadhwa, Nagpur, 2008 19 Section 4 (a) of Special Marriage Act, 1954

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Save as otherwise provided in Chapter III, every person who, being at the time married, procures a marriage of himself or herself to be solemnized under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 494 or section 495 of the Indian Penal Code, as the case may be, and the marriage so solemnized shall be void. The other provision contained in Section 44 is meant for a person married under the Special Marriage Act who contracts a second marriage under any other law. Chapter III of the Act, referred to in Section 43 reproduced above, provides the facility of turning a pre-existing marriage solemnized as per religious or customary rites into a civil marriage by registering it under this Act. This facility is also available subject to the condition that neither party has at the time of registration more than one spouse living 20.If a person having more than one spouse living fraudulently registers either of his marriages under this Act he will be guilty of the offence of knowingly making a false statement punishable under Section 45 of the Act. The anti-bigamy provisions of the Special Marriage Act apply to every marriage contracted under its provisions irrespective of the religion of the parties. A court has specifically held that if a Muslim contracts a civil marriage under the Special Marriage Act instead of his personal law the anti-bigamy provisions of the Act will apply to him.21 However, if a person who has registered his pre-existing marriage under the Special Marriage Act in terms of Section 15 contracts a second bigamous marriage, it is not clear from the language of the Act if the provision of Section 44 reproduced above will apply to the case. The words Save as otherwise provided in Chapter III in Section 43 are not clear in their meaning. In the fitness of things, since ex post facto registration of a religious or customary marriage turns it into a civil marriage for all purposes, the anti-bigamy provisions of the Actshould also apply to such a case. Christian Law: The relevant provisions under the Indian Divorce act 1869 are as follows:

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Section 15 (b) of Special Marriage Act, 1954 S. Radhika Sameena v. S.H.O., Habeeb Nagar Police Station,Hyderabad 1997 CriLJ 1655 (AP).

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Section 18- Petition for the decree of nullity- Any husband or wife may present a petition to the district court or to the High Court, praying that his or her marriage may be declared null and void. It is significant to note that the word used in the above section may, which means that it is only an enabling provision and not Mandatory.22 Apart from this, s 60 of the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872, provides for conditions for certification of a Christian marriage. Though the act nowhere states that a marriage during the lifetime of any spouse of either of the parties to the marriage is void and null. It may be pointed out that while there are several sections int eh act which provides that a marriage may be declared void (eg ss 4, 26,, 52 and 88 ), bigamous marriage has not been mentioned as a ground for such declaration. Section 60 (2) bars only certification under chapter VI of the act. The legality of a bigamous marriage is not assailed in parts IV and V of the act, viz registration of marriages solemnized by ministers of religion, and marriages solemnized by or in the presence of , a marriage registrar, respectively. This is anomalous and needs to be rectified. Parsi Law: Section 4 of the parsi marriage and divorce act 1936 states: Remarriage when unlawful-(1) No Parsi (whether such Parsi has changed his religion or her religion or domicile or not) shall contract any marriage under this act or any other law in the lifetime of his or her wife or husband, whether a Parsi or not, except after his or her lawful divorce from such wife or husband or after his or her marriage with such wife has lawfully been declared null and void, and if the marriage contracted with such wife or husband under the Parsi marriage and divorce Act 1865, or under this act, except after a divorce, declaration or dissolution as aforesaid under either of the said acts. Section 5. Punishment of Bigamy- same as Hindu marriage act. Section 11. provides for penalizing any priest who knowingly and willfully solemnizes any marriage contrary to and in violation of s 4. Punishment prescribed is simple imprisonment for the term which may extend to six months, or fine which may extend to 200 rupees or both.
22

Rose Simpson v Binimoy Biswas AIR 1980 Cal 214

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CHAPTER 2: BIGAMY UNDER FAMILY LAW

2.1. Validity of Marriage


Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 187223 lays down that the court may presume the existence of certain facts. Now the question arises where independent evidence of soleminization of marriage be presumed on the continous cohabitation of parties as husband and wife? The privy Council in Mouji Lal v Chandrabati kumari24 confronted with this situation and replied in positive. It was laid thatIt is an extremely strong presumption in favour of the validity of a marriage and the legitimacy of its offsprings that from the time of the alleged marriage the parties are recognized by all persons concerned as man and wife, and described in important documents and on important occasions. The like presumption applies to the question whether the formal requisites of a valid marriage ceremony were satisfied. Law leans in favour of validity of marriage once it is proved it has existed defacto 25. When the fact of the celebration of marriage is established, in the absence of the evidence to the contrary, it will be presumed that all forms and ceremonies mecessary to constitute a valid marriage have been gone through26. If a community or meighbours treat a couple as husband and wife there is a presumption of valid marriage. If a marriage is shown to have performed with certain ceremonies and it is not known after a long lapse of time as to what exactly was the nature of the ceremonies, it may be presumed that all the necessary ceremonies have been performed.27 The privy council in Mohabbat Ali v. Md. Ibrahim Khan28 held that law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabited continuously for a number of years. Thus when a man and woman live for fifty years as husband and wife a strong presumption of valid marriage occurs. If a woman is under the control of a person there is a presumption that she is his wife. Continous and long cohabitation as husband and wife coupled

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Sec. 114: the court presumes the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case 24 38 IA. 122 (P.C.) See also Subarna v. arjuno, AIR 1951 Orissa 337 25 Chandu v. Khalihar, AIR 1959 A.P. 508 26 Veerappa v. Michael, AIR 1963 SC 833 27 Bai Wevali v. Moti Karson, ILR 22 Bom. 509. 28 Mohabbat Ali v. Md. Ibrahim Khan AIR 1929 PC 687

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law with admission and attendant circumstances would raise presumption of valid marriage. Where a marriage is accepted as valid by relations, friends and others for a long time, it cannot be declared as in valid29. The Allahabad High Court in Kastoori Devi v. Chiranji Lal30 ruled that the word vivah would include unless the contrary is proved, all the vital elements of a marriage ceremony. A witness of marriage is not required to prove all the details which taken together constitute vivah sanskar under the Hindu Law. If the fact of ceremony having taken place is proved, the law will presume that the ceremony was complete and regular in all respect and it is not necessary to prove each step of saptpadi. Similarly, the Delhi High Court in Ashok Kumar v. Smt. Usha Kumari31 ruled that if the parties are recognized as husband and wife, there is a strong presumption in the validity of marriage and the legitimacy of its offsprings. Marriage can be proved by repute and intention to enter into the wedlock. After all, rites and rituals only serve to provide proof of marriage as registration does. It is otherwise very difficult after some lapse of time to lead a pandit to a witness box to prove that the marriage had been solemnized. No documentary evidence is even possible to find. Many of the witnesses disappear meantime and no evidence except the hard fact of living together survives 32. The Calcutta High Court in B. C. Kurmokar v. chundra kurmokar33 observed that where there is sufficient evidence to prove the performance of some of the ceremonies usually observed on such occasions, a presumption is always to be drawn that they have been duly completed until the contrary is shown. In Bahadur singh Dilip singh v. Kartar Singh34 the court went even upto the extent the presumption of valid marriage can be applied even if the connection was adulterous at the commencement if later ceases to be adulterous. This presumption of a valid marriage is also rebuttable one. If there are circumstances which weaken or destroy the presumption, the court cannot ignore them. The Punjab high Court in Kunta Devi v. Sri Ram Kalu Ram35 held that where all that is said that the marriage was performed according to vedic rites, and there was no proof of Kanyadan, Saptapadi or any human having being performed and the girl was of immature age, i.e., below 18 years,
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Rajammal v. Moriammal, AIR 1954 Mys. 38 Kastoori Devi v. Chiranji Lal AIR 1960 All. 466 31 Ashok Kumar v. Smt. Usha Kumari AIR 1960 All. 347 32 Bikash kumar v. Nanda Devi AIR 1979 Cal. 358 33 B. C. Kurmokar v. chundra kurmokar AIR 1950 MP 1 34 Bahadur singh Dilip singh v. Kartar Singh AIR 1965 J&K 105 35 Kunta Devi v. Sri Ram Kalu Ram AIR 1963 Punj. 235

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law unaccompanied by any of her relation though they were living, and she was not given in marriage by any guardian, and the whole affair was secretive, it cannot be presumed that all the essential ceremonies for valid marreige was performed. There is also no such presumption if the woman belongs to Devadasi community or if the man was already married or if there is any unsurmountable obstacle to marriage36. However, if there is a strong evidence by documents and conduct, the presumption will apply in such cases37. The Rajasthan High Court in Anandi Lal v. Onkar38 ruled that presumption can be revealed only by strong, distinct, satisfactory, and conclusive evidence and the main fact that direct evidence of marriage which took place many years ago is unsatisfactory, cannot displace the presumption.

2.2. Maintenance
According to The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 195639 , section 18(2) states as follows: A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance- if he has any other wife living;40 The claim for maintenance by the wife can also be sustained on the ground covered by one or the other clause (a) to (f) of section 18(2) substantially but not fully. Merely because the wife fails to strictly prove the specific gorunds urged by her, she cannot be denied relief; MeeraNireshwalia v. Sukumar Nireshwalia.41 Maintenance of children is subject to provisions of section 20(1) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. It states that a Hindu is bound , during his lifetime, to maintain his or her legitimate or illegitimate children and his or her aged or infirm parents. Section 20(2) -A legitimate or illegitimate child may claim maintenance from his or her father or mother as the child is a minor.

36 37

Thunti v. Dhani Ram, AIR 1962 A.P. 260 Shivachevioranthi v. Sivoronvorom, ILR 1971 Mad. 395 38 Anandi Lal v. Onkar AIR 1960 Raj. 251 39 As amended by the Personal Laws (amendment)Act, 2010 40 Sub section 18(2)(d) 41 MeeraNireshwalia v. Sukumar Nireshwalia AIR 1944 Mad. 168

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law 2.2.1. Maintenance to first wife The recent judgement of Bombay High Court42 awarding maintenance to petitioner, Suman Nivrutti Satav v. Nivrutti Satav Dattu43 is of great importance. Suman had married Nivrutti Satav in 1981. Suman alleged that Nivrutti ill-treated her, married another woman the next year, and ultimately threw her out of the house in 1991. A Magistrates court denied her application for maintenance because she could not prove her marriage to Nivrutti. She then went to the High Court. Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Abhay Oka awarded a maintenance of Rs 500 per month, with arrears since 1991, to petitioner Suman. The Court held that For the purpose of granting maintenance to a neglected wife under section 125 of criminal procedure code (CrPC), no strict proof of marriage is required. In Sumans case the local Sarpanch and Police Patil testified that Nivrutti and Suman had been living together as husband and wife for seven to eight years. This verdict by Justice Oka might bolter the case of Maharashtra Government44 which has proposed to make an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to extend the right to maintenance to women who could not prove the legality of their marriage. This amendment was proposed in October last year. The State Government has said that the definition of the word wife under Section 125 needs to be changed to include a woman who was living with a man like his wife for a reasonably long period. The amendment proposed by the Maharashtra Government is the same as what has been proposed by the Justice Mallimath committee formed by the Central Government. Further, the High Court said, that as per the Supreme Court's earlier rulings, "standard of proof of marriage" in cases under Section 125 of CrPC is not as strict as in other cases. The objective of CrPC provision was just to make available to woman a speedy remedy to obtain maintenance. "Supreme Court has held that if the applicant in application under section 125 succeeds in showing that she had lived together with the respondent as wife and husband, the Court can presume that they are legally wedded spouses", justice Oka noted.

42

Retrieved from http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/for-maintenance-no-strict-proof-of-marriagerequired_563748.html visited on 01. 11. 2011. 43 Suman Nivrutti Satav v. Nivrutti Satav Dattu AIR 2009 Bom. 235 44 Retrieved from http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_for-maintenance-no-strict-proof-of-marriage-requiredhc_1290402 visited on 01.11. 2011

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law In the CrPC amendment proposed by state government, a woman who has lived as wife with a man can claim maintenance, though she may not have undergone marriage rites. But the proposal is yet make any headway, as opposition as well as some members of ruling Congress-NCP alliance alleged that government wanted to "legalise" live-in relationships through this amendment. Some legal experts have opposed this proposal. They say that the proposed amendment may legalise or justify bigamy which is against the law as per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. This amendment, if passed, would legalise a live-in relationship, and would entitle the woman in such a relationship to be entitled to alimony in the event of the relationship breaking down. Activists like Flavia Agnes cite examples where the rights of women to maintenance45 have been upheld despite the concerned marriage being bigamous. Their contention is that this is a common ploy used by men- who try to avoid paying maintenance to women with whom they have cohabited for a prolonged period of time on the grounds of bigamy. 2.2.2. Legitimacy Of Children Section 16 of the HMA confers legitimacy on the children of void and voidable marriages. It has been admitted in 1976 and has now three sub-sections. before amendment there was only subsection(1) and present sub section was in the form of provision. Hence, as the section originally stood. It led to the decision of the court that children of void marriage would be deemed to be legitimate if only a decree of nullity was granted under section 11. In T Rammayamal v. T Mathummal46, where no decree declaring the marriage was passed, the court holding that children were not deemed to be legitimate and remarked: this is a case of omission which the court cannot reach for no cannon of construction will permit the court to supply which is clearly a lacuna in the statute47 Scope- The object of this section is to confer a protective cover to the children and to save them from the stigma of illegitimacy an also to give them proprietary rights in the property of there parents but this right is not extended to the wife of void marriage except she is entitled to claim and maintenance. This interpretation led to the amendment of the section (1) of the section, a

45

Retrieved from http://www.indianexpress.com/news/twice-shy/521715/0 visited on 05.11.2011 T Rammayamal v. T Mathummal AIR 1974 Mad. 321 47 Basant K. Sharma, Hindu Law, Central Law Publication, Allahabad, 2008
46

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law child of void marriage would be entitled to the benefit whether a decree of nullity is passed or not. In parmanand v. jagrani48 the parties lived together as husband wife and five children were born to them. No ceremony was performed between the parties and evidence on record prove that there was no marriage on the part of parties . It was held that the children are deemed to be legitimate and are entitled to inherit the property of the father. It seems that the decision of the supreme court in Paryankandiyal Eravath case, was not cited before the court. 2.2.3. Property rights The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that illegitimate children were not only entitled to a share in the self-acquired property of parents but also in ancestral property. In Revanasiddappa & Anr. Vs. Mallikarjun & Ors. 49, a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said in a judgement that such children cannot be deprived of their property rights as what was considered illegitimate in the past may not be so in the present changing society. The court has to remember that relationship between the parents may not be sanctioned by law but the birth of a child in such a relationship has to be viewed independently of the relationship of the parents. A child born in such a relationship is innocent and is entitled to all the rights which are given to other children born in valid marriage. Right to property is no longer fundamental but it is a Constitutional right and Article 300A contains a guarantee against deprivation of property right save by authority of law, The Court cannot interpret a socially beneficial legislation on the basis as if the words therein are cast in stone. Such legislation must be given a purposive interpretation to further and not to frustrate the eminently desirable social purpose of removing the stigma on such children.- the bench said. In a historically ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the right of illegitimate children to the fathers share in ancestral property. The ruling dissented from the earlier position held in Jinia Keotin v. Kumar Sitaram Manjhi50 and Bharatha Matha v. R. Vijaya Renganathan51 which had constrained the rights of illegitimate children to the separate property of the father and had held
48 49

Parmanand v. jagrani, AIR2007 MP 242 Revanasiddappa & Anr. Vs. Mallikarjun & Ors AIR 2011 SC 113 50 Jinia Keotin v. Kumar Sitaram Manjhi (2003) 1 SCC 730 51 Bharatha Matha v. R. Vijaya Renganathan AIR 2010 SC 2685

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law that a child born in a void or voidable marriage was not entitled to claim rights in ancestral property52. The Court relied upon Article 39 (f)53 of the Constitution which mandates that all children must be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth must be protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

2.3.Current Scenario
Bigamy exists in many societies where it is legally and socially acceptable as well as where it isnot accepted too. Bigamy is basically a problem of a male-dominant culture than religion. In India according to Hindu, Parsi and Christian Marriage Act, there is a prohibition on contracting a second marriage during the lifetime of the spouse. According to 1974 survey, Muslims to account for 5.6 percent of bigamous marriages and upper-caste Hindus accounting for 5.8 percent i.e., as many as one crore Hindu men had more than one wife in 1971, compared to 12 lakh Muslim men. As opposed to prevalent notions in our society, bigamy affects Hindu women more than Muslim women as laws governing their marriages have provisions for equal rights for more than one wife. But in Hindus, the second wifes children do not have any rights over the fathers ancestral property. Due to social stigma and fear of being abandoned by husband, as well as lack of financial independence, most women accept a second wife. Majority of first wife is reluctant to prosecute her husband considering the fact that he is the father ofher children.

Except legal cases on bigamy and the last census of 1961 and 1974 survey information, not much is known on this issue. In the large scale survey (National Family Health Survey) conducted in India, information on second marriage of husband was collected from women. In this paper an attempt is made to examine the prevalence of it by religion, caste, tribe and other socio-economic characteristics of women who were interviewed. Also an attempt is made to examine the physical, verbal violence faced by the women in these marriages. Among currently married women, 1.7, 2.5 and 2.1 percent among Hindus, Muslims and Christian reported that their husband have one more wife. Southern and North Eastern regions have more chances of polygamous marriages as compared to the other regions. Results show that poor and illiterate or
52 53

Retrieved from http://majlislaw.com/en/top/resource-centre/legal-news-and-updates-/ visited on 29.10.2011 39 (f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment, The Constitution Of India , 1949.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law literate up to primary level women are more vulnerable to second marriage of husband. In ancient India, this practice was found more common among the affluent and powerful persons. Over the time it has changed and shifted towards the lower socio economic and poor peoples. More number of older women reported polygamy than the younger ones. Those women whose husband have one more wife are facing much higher degree of emotional, physical and sexual violence in comparison to those women whose husband have not gone for one more wife. Violence faced by these women may be cause or consequence of second marriage of husband.54

2.4. Under Muslim Law


So far as muslim law is concerned, while a male may legally have upto four wives at a time, a Muslim woman cannot remarry during the subsistence of first marriage. According to Mulla,55 A Mohamedan may have as many as four wives at the same time, but not more. If he marries a fifth wife when he has already four, the marriage is not void, but merely irregular(voidable). A mahomedan woman marrying again in the lifetime of her husband is liable to be punished under s 494 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. Children of such marriage are illegitimate, and cannot be legitimated by acknowledgement either.56 Traditional Law-It is generally believed that under Muslim law a husband has an unfettered right to marry again even where his earlier marriage is subsisting. On a closer examination of the relevant provisions of the Qur'an and the other sources of Islamic law, this does not seem to be the truth. The rule of Muslim law conditionally permitting bigamy in fact visualized two or more women happily living with a common husband taking a second wife after forsaking or deserting the first was not Islams concept of bigamy. Bigamy with no restrictions or discipline whatsoever was rampant in the society where Islam made its first appearance and also in many other societies across the globe. The Holy Qur'an put restrictions on it, allowing it within limits, and even within those limits subjecting it to a strict discipline.57 The Qur'an permitted polygamy subject to a strict condition that the man must be capable of ensuring equal treatment of two wives in every respect. Asserting that this may not be possible even with the best of intentions, the Holy Book at the same time advised men to keep to

54 55

Retrieved from http://paa2011.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=111406 visited on 03.11.2100 Mulla, Principles of Mohamedan Law, 1972, p 257, para 255 56 Mulla, Principles of Mohamedan Law, 1972, para 256, p 257 57 S.R, Myneni, Muslim Law, Asia Law House, Hyderabad, 2009

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law monogamy as this would keep you away from injustice58. To this Qur'anic reform the Prophet added a highly deterrent warning: "A bigamist unable to treat his wives equally will be torn apart on the Day of Judgment."This was the reform that the Islamic religious law could, and did, introduce in the 7th century AD.

If bigamy means forsaking of the first wife without divorcing her and bringing in a new wife, the Qur'an certainly does not permit it. In Muslim law bigamy envisages two women happily married to the same man actually living with him and getting from him equally all that a wife can expect from her husband. Where this is not possible, the Qur'an enjoins the husband to remain a monogamist. Bigamy of the type now prevalent in India in which the first wife is wholly forsaken and thereby tortured and a second wife is allowed to usurp her place in the husband's home is not approved anywhere in Islamic legal texts. Rules of Muslim law empower women to restrict the freedom of their would-be husbands to indulge in bigamy by entering a condition to that effect in their marriage contract. And since Muslim law allows out-of-court divorce at the instance of both men and women, it further provides that a woman who after availing the legally provided facility to get rid of her husband marries again, will not face the charge of bigamy. These pro-women provisions of Muslim law have been judicially recognized in India in several cases. Social & Judicial Trends- Bigamy has been fully abolished or severely controlled by law in most Muslim countries of the world. Turkey and Tunisia have completely outlawed it while in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it has been subjected to administrative or judicial control.59 In India bigamy is not very common among the Muslims and cases of men having more than one wife at a time are few and far between. The Muslim society of India in general in fact looks at polygamy with great disfavour and a bigamist is generally looked down upon in and outside his family. Despite this, unfortunately, the religious leaders are not prepared for any legislative reform in this respect and the religious sensitivities have never allowed the State to introduce any reform in this regard. The courts in India also greatly look down upon bigamy and provide

58

Quran, IV: 3 & 129 Details of these reforms can be seen in Tahir Mahmoods book Statutes of Personal Law in Islamic Countries, 2nd edition, 1995
59

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law all sorts of relief to the first wives of bigamist husbands. Several High Courts have held that bigamy amounts to cruelty which can be pleaded as an answer to the mans suit for restitution of conjugal rights against the first wife60.

The Supreme Court of India has held that the provision of Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 allowing separate maintenance to a wife on the ground of her husbands cruelty applies to Muslim women whose husbands contract a second bigamous marriage. See Khatoon v Yaamin61. In another case the Supreme Court has severely criticized the practice of bigamy and observed that there is no difference between a second wife and a concubine62.See, Khaizar Basha v Indian Airlines Corporation63.

60

see Itwari v Asghari AIR 1960 All 684, Raz Mohammad v SaeedaAmina Begum AIR 1976 Kant 200, Shahina parveen v Mohd Shakeel AIR 1987 Del 210. 61 Khatoon v. yaamin AIR 1982 SC 853 62 Begum Subhanu v Abdul Ghafoor AIR 1987 SC 1103. 63 Khaizar Basha v Indian Airlines Corporation AIR 1984 Mad 379, relating to a similar provision found in the Regulations framed under the Air Corporation Act 1953

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CHAPTER 3: UNDER CRIMINAL LAW The offence under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code is non-cognizable, bailable and compoundable by the aggrieved spouse with the permission of the court. That the offence is compoundable by mutual consent of the parties was affirmed in Narotam Singh v State of Punjab.64 In the State of Andhra Pradesh, however, by a local amendment of 1992 the offence under Section 494 was made cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable The offence under Section 495 of the Penal Code is non-cognizable, bailable and unlike that under Section 494 -non compoundable. Notably, in Andhra Pradesh this offence too has been made cognizable and nonbailable. IPC Provisions in Action- Bigamy by women is very exceptional in the society, but bigamy by men is indeed rampant. However, since the anti-bigamy provisions of the Indian Penal Code are (except in Andhra Pradesh) non-cognizable most cases of the offence of bigamy remain unpunished. The aggrieved first wives of all communities silently suffer the miseries caused by the practice of bigamy. There is also a trend in the society to use devices, supposed to be legal, to escape application of the IPC provisions. Among these are holding incomplete and defective marriage ceremonies, non-marital cohabitation and fake change of religion. With the sole exception of Andhra Pradesh, nowhere have any changes in the IPC provisions or the related procedural law been yet considered in order to improve upon the working of the said provisions.

3.1. Offence Even After Consent


Sometimes an interesting question arises that as bigamy is more or less a matrimonial offence towards the first spouse himself or herself, as the case may be, this permission or more so helps in the performance of second marriage, is it a valid marriage or not? Th Himanchal Pradesh high court in Smt. Santosh Kumari v. Surjit Singh65 confrontred with the situation and replied the question of validity of such second marriage in negative. In this case the first marriage was performed according to the Hindu rights and the wife filed the suit for declaration that her husband may be allowed to marry another women during her lifetime. The learned of judge of Kangra Mr. Manoj Kumar Bansal on the basis of admission of the husband
64 65

Narotam Singh v State of Punjab.AIR 1978 SC 1542. Smt. Santosh Kumari v. Surjit Singh AIR 1990 HP. 77.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law that due to ill and weak health of wife, she was unable to satisfy his sexual desire, permitted the husband to remarry during the subsistence of first valid marriage. The district and session judge, after reading news item, referred the case to the High Court of Himanchal Pradesh, to decide whether the permission of second marriage on the basis of declaration is contrary to law. The High Court sets aside the declaration

3.2. Punishment For Bigamy


Monogamy has been made a rule under Section 5(1) and bigamy has been made a ground for nullity of marriage under the provision of section 11 of the act. Section 17 of the act also declares bigamous marriage void and prescribes punishment for such marriages under the provision of section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. Section 17 of the act provides that: any marriage between two Hindus solemnized after commencement of this act is void if at the date of such marriage either party had a husband or wife living; and the provision of Section 495 and 494 of Indian Penal Code shall prevail accordingly. This section contains two declarations. First, that bigamous marriage would be void and second, that section 494 and 495 of Indian Penal Code shall apply to such marriage. Section 11 also declares bigamy to be void. The same declaration in section 17 is not, however, mere tautology. Under section 11, the declaration is made for matrimonial and other general purposes, but section 17 does it again in order to collect the provisions of section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code. Social reforms of the 19th century and the british rulers of india always made constant efforts to regulate the law of bigamy with an aim to abolish the evils in India. A legislative step in this direction was taken by the enactment of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Chapter XX of the code deals with the offences relating to marriage and section 494 and 495 specifically deals with the offence of bigamy. Originally, these sections were applicable only to Christians, but later on these provisions were made applicable to the people of other religions also.66 It would be relevant to reproduce Section 494 of the code, which provides:

66

See the Special Marriage act, 1872. The Indian Divorce act, 1869.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law whosoever having husband or wife living, marries in nay case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for the term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine. Exception: This section does not intend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been declared void by a competent jurisdiction, nor to any person who contracts a marriage during the life of a former husband or wife, if such husband or wife at the time of subsequent marriage, shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been haerd of by such person as being alive within that time, provided the person contracting such subsequent marriage shall, before such marriage taking place, inform the person with whom such marriage is being contracted of the real facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge. So, if a person commits Bigamy under his or her personal law, that can be punished under such provisions of this section. So a Hindu who violates the monogamous provision of the Hindu marriage act and commits bigamy, is liable for punishment under this section of the Indian Penal Code, the punishment which can be awarded to a bigamist is imprisonment of either description for a maximum period of seven years. Fine can be imposed in addition to this punishment of imprisonment. The main purpose of making bigamy as an offence is to protect the institution of marriage. The law treats bigamy as an offence in order to ensure, conjugal happiness for those who belong to those communities which practice monogamy. The Indian Penal Code only prescribes a punishment for a bigamist who is not permitted by personal law to marry again. In fact, it did not abolish bigamy in India as such and a person can be punished only if he violates his personal law qua bigamy. If a second marriage is null and void under the personal law, only then the person is laible to be convicted under the Indian Penal Code. So in case of a Hindu marriage, it is void only if it contravenes the provisions of section 5(1) and to punish a bigamist, second marriage

The Special marriage act, 1954. The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, The Bombay Prevention of Hindu Bigamous Marriage act, 1948, The Madras Hindu Act, 1949 The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law must have been properly solemnized and clearly proved beyond all reasonable doubts. 67 Further if the first marriage is not vslid then no offence is commited by contracting a second marriage because such marriage is only legal marriage and is not a bigamous marriage. The word whoever having a husband or wife clearly shows that it includes both, polygymy as well as polyandry. Thus, this section does not discriminate between the two sexes. If a Hindu woman commits polyandry, which is prohibited under Section 5, and section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the provisions of this act would be applicable. This is also clear from the words is void by reasons of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife. The supreme Court of India in Gopal v. The State of Rajasthan68 interrupted the provisions of this section and accordingly some ingredients of this section were laid down: (1) The accused spouse must have contracted the first marriage. (2) During the subsistence of first marriage, the spouse must have contracted the second marriage. (3) Both the marriage must have been properly solemnized and the necessary ceremonies required by the personal law governing the parties have been duly performed. As regards the Muslims, the IPC provisions relating to bigamy apply to women since Muslim law treats a second bigamous marriage by a married woman as void but not to men as under a general reading of the traditional Muslim law men are supposed to be free to contract plural marriages. The veracity of this belief, of course, needs a careful scrutiny. The anti-bigamy provisions of the Indian Penal Code would not applyalso to tribal men and women if their customary law and practice does not treat their plural marriages as void. It has been judicially affirmed that: Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code will not apply to members of Scheduled Tribes unless the tribal law applicable to a case treats a bigamous marriage as void. See, for instance, Surajmani Stella Kujur (Dr.) v Durga Charan Hansdah.69

67

Venkats Subrayudu Chetty v. Tangeature Venbatial Shresti and others, AIR 1968 AP 107; Phankari v. The State, AIR 195 J&K 105, BHanurao v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1965 SC 1564; Bolaram v. Surya, AIR 1969 Ass. 90; priyabala Ghosh v. Suresh Chandra, AIR 1971 SC1153; Kanwal ram v. H.P. Administration, AIR 1966 SC 614. 68 Gopal v. The State of Rajasthan AIR 1979 SC 713 69 Surajmani Stella Kujur (Dr.) v Durga Charan Hansdah.AIR 2001 SC 938.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

3.3. Exceptions Under Section 494 Of The IPC 1860


Two exceptions are provided under section 494 if the Indian Penal Code where by the offence of bigamy is not committed. First, when the first marriage has already been declared void by the court of competent jurisdiction and secondly, the absence of former spouse for seven years or more. Under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, absence for seven years itself does not provide any relief or exception and it is ground for divorce70 or judicial separation71. But the Indian Penal Code exempts the person from being convicted under section 494 if the case comes within the mischief of any of the exceptions. The benefit of the exception clause will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled: 1. There must be continuous absence of one of the spouse for more than seven years; 2. The absent spouse not having been heard of by the other spouse as being alive within that time. 3. The party solemnizing the marriage must inform the above fact to the person with whom he or she marries. If the offence of bigamy is committed by concealing the former marriage from the person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted, it is aggravated form of offence and is defined under section 495 of the code, which provides: whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section having concealed from the person with whom the subsequent marriage is contracted, the fact of the former marriage, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. This section prescribes a severe form of punishment to the bigamist. When a bigamist solemnizes second marriage by concealing the fact of the first marriage, then there must be a difference both in quantum and nature of punishment because the subsequent spouse also becomes a victim of the bigamist. So there is a difference between the punishment when a person

70 71

Sec. 13(1) (VII) of the HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955, 1955. Sec. 10 of the HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955, 1955.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law contracts a subsequent marriage after disclosing the fact of the first marriage and concealing the first marriage.72

3.4.Cognizance And Procedure For Prosecution


The Indian Penal Code is a substantive law which defines a particular offence and prescribes the punishment thereof. The criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is a procedural law which is to be observed while awarding punishment under the Indian Penal Code. To deal with bigamy, separate provisions have been incorporated in the criminal procedure code. The first schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code declares under section 494 and section 495 of the INDIAN PENAL CODE as non-cognizable, bailable and to be traible by the Magistrate of first class. The cognizance of offence relating to bigamy can also be taken by the magistrate of second class if specially empowered for this purpose. Prosecution for the offence of bigamy can be launched under section 198 of the Criminal Procedure Code which speaks that: no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under chapter XX of the Indian Penal Code except upon a complaint made by some person aggried by the offence: Provided that(a) Where such person is under the age of eighteen years, or is an idiot or a lunatic, or is from sickness or infirmity unable to make a complaint, or , is a woman who, according to the local customs and manners, ought not to be compelled to appear in public, some other person may, with the leave of the court, make a complaint on his or her behalf; (b) Where such person is the husband and he is serving in any of the armed forces of the union under conditions which are certified by his commanding officers as precluding him from obtaining leave of absence to enable him to make a complaint in person, some other person authorized by the husband in accordance with the provisions of the sub-section (4) may make a complaint on his behalf; and

72

Manjit Singh ,Nijjar, Nullity Of Marriage Under Hindu Law, Deep And Deep Publications,New Delhi, 1994.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law (c) Where the person aggrieved by an offence punishable under section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 is the wife, complaint may be made on her behalf by her father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter or by her fathers or mothers brother or sister, or with the leave of the court, by any person related to her by blood, marriage or adoption. The very object of this provision is to prevent strangers from interfering in family life but when the person directly aggrieved is unable or unwilling to agitate the alleged wrong than all the above mentioned relatives have the locus to make a complaint.

3.5.Compounding of offence of Bigamy


As a crime is basically a wrong done to the individual victim as well as society, therefore, a compromise between the wrong doer and the individual victim should not be enough to observe the accused from criminal responsibility.73 However, some offences are essentially of a private nature and are relatively not quiet serious. Section 320(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure considers it expedient to recognize these less serious crimes as compoundable offences. Some other offences are compoundable only with the permission of the court.74 The offence of bigamy under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code is compoundable with the permission of the court. The third colum of the table under section 3320 of the code specifically provides that such an offence can only be compounded at the instance of the earlier husband or wife. However, it is the discretion of the court to allow or not compounding of this offence. While granting permission to compound the offence, the court should act judiciously and should exercise a sound and reasonable discretion.75 The Supreme Court in Narottam Singh v. State of Punjab76, a case under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code allowed to be compounded on payment of rs. 40000 to the victim wife and with following remarks: The compensation for his sexual aberration and breaking up of the matrimonial home will instill a correctional responsibility on the man. At the same time, his acquittal, following upon the composition, will hopefully save his business and avert the hurtful jail term

73 74

Mahesh Chand v. State of Rajasthan, 1989 Cr. L.J.121 (SC) Sec 320(2) of the CrPC, 1973. 75 Provincial Govt. v. Vipin, AIR 1945 Nag. 104; V.K. Mannur v. State of Mysore, AIR 1965 Mys. 238 76 Narottam Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 1978 SC 1542

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law The offence under Section 495 of the Indian Penal Code is not shown as compoundable under either of the two tables which clearly means that it is considered to be of more serious nature. The effect of composition of an offence is that of acquittal of the accused provided the composition is in accordance with the rules of real and genuine compromise is filed, a compensation is complete and effective, and will leave the effect of acquittal though no specific order of acquittal is passed on the petition by the court. A case may be compounded at any time before the sentence is pronounced. The Calcutta High Court in Aslam Meah v. Emperor77even went upto this extent that a magistrate can not refuse to accept a compromise presented to him while he is writing his judgement.

77

Aslam Meah v. Emperor (1917) ILR 45 Cal. 816

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CHAPTER 4: COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS

4.1. Family law v. Criminal Law


In case of matrimonial offence of bigamy, it is only the party to the second marriage who can petition for nullity and the aggrieved first has no locus standi under section 11 of the act. But it is not meant that the aggrieved first spouse is without any remedy. The first spouse can obtain relief of divorce under section 13(1)(i) on the ground of adultery committed by the other spouse. So the spouse who is aggrieved by the bigamous marriage of the other spouse can obtain divorce on the ground of adultery committed by the other spouse. Adultery is also an offence under the Indian Penal Code 1860, though applicable to men only. Bigamy is certainly a reasonable excuse for the respondent to withdraw from the society of the petitioner because it is ground of matrimonial relief of judicial separation, nullity of marriage, and divorce under the act. Beside this, bigamy gives birth to the offence of adultery and cruelty, which again are grounds of matrimonial reliefs. Therefore, bigamy is a strong ground on the basis of which a respondent can take the defense to the matrimonial relief of restitution of Conjugal rights under section 9 that there is reasonable excuse78. In case of a bigamous marriage, petition for restitution of conjugal rights cannot be sustained because otherwise it will amount to the petitioner to take advantage of his or her own wrong, which is again a bar to matrimonial relief under section 23(1)(a) of the act.79 Therefore, it is evident that withdrawal from the society will be a reasonable excuse if the petitioner is guilty of bigamy, not only its being a matrimonial offence, but it gives birth to some matrimonial offence of adultery and cruelty also. In case of a bigamous marriage, either man or woman whose marital union is void under section 11 of the act can file a petition for nullity of marriage. A third person, although closely related (can be the husband or wife of the first marriage) cannot seek such a decree.80 A step further to this is dealt by section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 read with section 34 of the Specific Relief Act says that not only the wife, but also any
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Mallapa v. Neelava, AIR 1970 Mys. 59 Section 23(1), In any Proceedings under this act whether defendant or not, if the Court is satisfied that-(a) any ground is specified in section 5 is not in any way taking advantage of his or her own wrong or disability for the purpose of such relief 80 Kedarnath v. Suprava AIR 1963 Pat. 311.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law one who is affected by the marriage performed in contravention of Clause (i) of section 5 would be entitled to bring a civil suit.81 It is pertinent to note that the Hindu Marriage Act, which prohibits bigamy, contains no provision for the prevention of an act of bigamy by an application or a petition. Which indeed is authorized by this act is a presentation of a petition under section 11 of the act if bigamy is committed. Section 17 of the act and Section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, which are applicable to bigamous marriage also provides no remedy to a person who seeks the prevention of the commission of offence of bigamy. So there is no provision in the HMA under which a spouse can apply for and obtain an injunction restraining the other spouse from contracting the second marriage.

4.2. Role Of Family Courts


It is not unknown that a gaping loophole in the Indian Judiciary is the backlog of cases. The number of cases being filed in the Supreme Court is consistently on the rise. 34683 cases were filed in Supreme Court in the year 1999, whereas, 70350 were filed in the year 2008, the increase being about 103% nine years82. There are cases dealing with a broad spectrum of issues such as family matters and property which continue for generations. Such cases continue for atrocious periods of time, ranging from 7 years to 30 years. In such a scenario, the channelling of cases to different courts set up specially for this purpose not only ensures their speedy disposal, but also ensures that the cases, being dealt by with experts in courts specially set up for this purpose; are dealt with more effectively. The saying that justice delayed is justice denied then becomes relevant to take into consideration. The Family Courts Act 1984 was enacted with a view to promote conciliation and secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs, based on non-adversarial and multi-disciplinary approach. The Family Courts (FCs) are expected to (i) adopt a radically different approach than that adopted in ordinary civil proceedings, and (ii) make reasonable efforts for conciliated settlement before the trial commenced, and during this stage the proceedings are to be informal. Gender sensitised personnel, including judges, social workers and other trained staff are expected to hear and resolve family related issues by eliminating the rigid rules of procedure

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Smt. Ram Pyari v. Dharam Dass AIR 1984 All. 147 Retrieved from http://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l356-Family-Courts-in-India.html visited on 05.11.2011

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law 4.2.1. Maintaining of Database: Family courts are empowered to formulate their own procedures but till then they have to follow the Civil Procedure Code. Evidence need not be recorded. Judgment can be concise with statement of the case, points for determining decision and reasons. Appeal to the High Court can be filed within thirty days from the date of judgment, order or decree of the Family Court. If the party desires, in camera proceedings can be conducted. No party to a suit or proceeding under the Family Court shall be entitled to be represented by a legal practitioner but the court may requisition the services of a legal expert as amicus curae.83 4.2.2. Disposal of cases The record of the current family court system is a mixed bagin any case, not a commendable record. Over the last nearly quarter of a century, the system has given rise to anger, frustration and resentment over its functioning. The system lacks the trust of the majority of justice seeking population regarding its capability to provide a fair and just forum for handling family disputes. Unless the present situation of the family courts is remedied, the women will be forced to remain unsecured within their families and society. The overall situation is the same everywhere with minor differences. It has still to go a long way to accomplish the objectives implied in the FCA. The measures like simplification of procedures, speedy settlement of disputes, a permanent cadre of competent counsellors who are capable of providing scientific and professional services, informal atmosphere in courts, qualified social workers, appointment of gender sensitised judges, uniformity of rules, extension of the FC services to all districts of India, strengthening of the system of probation officers, provision/creation of necessary infrastructure, model rules for appointment of judges, allowing the woman to file a case in the district or state where she resides rather than at the place where the marriage took place or where the husband resides or where they both last resided should be undertaken. Gender justice should be a component for recruitment and it should be made essential for a judge to have undergone a gender sensitisation course/training before taking the position as a judge. The FC needs to be empowered in the true sense of the term and the enforcement mechanism needs to be strengthened.

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Retrieved from http://www.lawisgreek.com/why-we-have-family-law-courts-in-india visited on 06.11.2011

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Maharashtra is the one of the few States that have detailed and elaborate rules regarding the functioning of the FC as well as regarding the service conditions, recruitment, remuneration of the counsellors etc. Maharashtra also has the unique distinction of having a children complex within the premises of the FC. So far 153 Family Courts in various States and Union Territories (UTs) in India have been established. However, there are no family courts yet in the States of Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya and in the UTs of Chandigarh, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Though the FCA envisaged the establishment of FCs in all cities with a population exceeding one million, there is a need to establish such courts in each district of India in view of the prevailing conditions of increasing incidence of marital discord and divorce.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

CHAPTER 5: BIGAMY BY CONVERSION TO ISLAM


The Law Commission recently recommended a good way to prevent a married Hindu man from taking another wife: Deeming such a marriage illegal even if he converted to Islam before he wed a second time. That Law Commission report, 'Preventing Bigamy via Conversion to Islam', essentially highlighted an important and little-known truth - namely that more Hindus than Muslims commit bigamy. This has been true for more than a quarter of a century. In 1974, a government survey found Muslims to account for 5.6% of all bigamous marriages and upper-caste Hindus accounting for 5.8%. The difference may appear to be small but it is big, in real terms. The 1971 census records 45.3 crore Hindus and six crore Muslims. Allowing for women and children to make up 65% of each group, as many as one crore Hindu men had more than one wife in 1971, compared to 12 lakh Muslim men. The trend continues, says sociologist Asghar Ali Engineer, head of Mumbai's Institute of Islamic Studies. "The survey was conducted on a large sample in all parts of India and the report wasn't made public. Further, polygamy was higher in South India than in the north, and more so among rich and middle-class Hindus than the poorer sections." Fiza alias Anuradha Bali, who married Haryana's deputy CM after the pair converted to Islam, says, "Our laws were far more liberal in ancient times. Most kings and many of our mythological figures had more than one wife." Though Chand has converted back to Hinduism, Fiza insists she remains his "customary wife while the first one remains the legally-wedded one. There is no way to get out of a dual marriage in spite of a legal ban." Supreme Court lawyer Praveen Agarwal cautions that Hindu bigamists often go scot free because "the courts can do little until there's a formal complaint." And this is not always possible because in many cases, the two wives don't even know of each other's existence, says Agarwal. He adds that it is relatively easy for a Hindu man to remarry because temples don't hold records. "However, if the matter goes to court, the second marriage is declared null and void." Take the case of K Suryanarayana, the Indian engineer killed in Afghanistan, who left behind a second wife and daughter. Though she laid claim to compensation from the government, the court ruled in favour of the first wife.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law Agarwal suggests that stringent and time-consuming Hindu divorce may force many men to resort to bigamy. "Instead of going in for long-drawn-out and financially debilitating divorce procedures, men simply desert the first wife and marry again."84 Engineer says that bigamy is not as rampant among Muslims as believed. The Quran only offers conditional permission for a man to take four wives: in times of war or a crisis that sees women outnumber men. "The 2001 census found 935 females for every 1000 males in India. Among Muslims, it was 930: 1000. So it would be difficult to find even one wife for every man," he says. Engineer says polygamy will never cease to exist. Perhaps it's better to regulate it, he says.85. Judicial Rulings on Bigamy by Conversion- There has always been a simmering discontent in the judiciary regarding the tendency of converting to Islam for the sake of contracting a second bigamous marriage and the courts have tried to control it. In Vilayat Raj v Sunila86 Justice Leela Seth of the Delhi High Court had decided that the Act would continue to apply to a person who was a Hindu at the time of marriage despite his subsequent conversion to Islam and that he could still seek divorce under the Act(except on the ground of his own conversion). In In re P Nagesashayya87 Justice Bhaskar Rao of Andhra Pradesh High Court severely criticized the unhealthy practice of bigamy by conversion and observed that the old rule that the motive behind conversion could never be questioned had to be rejected at least in the cases of conversion coupled with bigamy. Similar observations were made in the case of B Chandra Manikyamma v B. Sudarsana Rao alias Saleem Mohammed,88. Finally, in the leading case of Smt. Sarla Mudgal v Union of India89 the Supreme Court decided that every bigamous marriage of a Hindu convert to Islam would be void and therefore punishable under the Indian Penal Code. The ruling was re-affirmed five years later in Lily Thomas v Union of India 90.

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Retrieved from http://legalpoint-india.blogspot.com/2009/09/bigamy-issue-of-one-too-many.html visited on 07.11.2011 85 Retrieved from http://nchro.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6995:the-myth-of-bigamy-inindia&catid=44:women&Itemid=45 visited on 07.11.2011 86 Vilayat Raj v Sunila AIR 1983 Delhi 351 87 re P Nagesashayya (1988) Mat LR 123 88 B Chandra Manikyamma v B. Sudarsana Rao alias Saleem Mohammed 1988 CrLJ 1849 89 Smt. Sarla Mudgal v Union of India (1995) 3 SCC 635 90 Lily Thomas v Union of India (2000) 6 SCC 224.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

Case of Sarla Mudgal: The fact of the case is as follows; a prominent politician, already a husband and a father, mysteriously disappeared and surfaced a month later with a new bride claiming that they had become husband and wife under the law of Islam to which both of them had since converted. The fact that the new bride in this case, who is a lawyer and has been a law officer with the government of her State, keeps on publicly claiming that her marriage to the convert-bigamist is fully legal due to his conversion to Islam clearly shows the ignorance about the law settled in this respect by the Supreme Court prevails also in the community of lawyers. The court observed:

"Since it is not the object of Islam nor is the intention of the enlightened Muslim community that the Hindu husbands should be encouraged to become Muslim merely for the purpose of evading their own personal law by marrying again, the courts can be persuaded to adopt a construction of the laws resulting in denying the Hindu husband converted to Islam the right to marry again without having his existing marriage dissolved in accordance with law". As evident from its title, 'Preventing bigamy via conversion to Islam', Mahmood said the report suggested an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act on the lines of the 1995 SC judgment in Sarla Mudgal's case blocking Hindu men from using Islam as a licence to acquire a second wife without getting their first marriage dissolved. The Law Commission has recommended amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act (HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955) and other personal laws to the effect that a person whose marriage is governed by such legislation cannot marry again even after changing religion unless the first marriage is dissolved or declared null and void. The 227th report91 pointed out that bigamy had been fully abolished or severely controlled by law in most Muslim countries. Turkey and Tunisia had completely outlawed it, while in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it had been subjected to administrative or judicial control. Even in India, the Commission said, bigamy is not very common among Muslims and men having more than one wife at a time are few and far between. The Muslim society of India in
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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law general in fact looks at polygamy with great disfavour and a bigamist is generally looked down upon in and outside his family. Despite this, unfortunately, the religious leaders are not prepared for any legislative reform, and the religious sensitivities have never allowed the state to introduce any reform in this regard. The Supreme Court had outlawed this practice in 1995 and reaffirmed it again in 2000. In view of this, the Commission took a suo motu review of the subject for examination of the legal position to suggest changes in family laws.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CHAPTER 6: RECOMMENDATION On a careful consideration of all aspects of the trend prevailing among married non-Muslims to try to defy the law by marrying again on embracing to Islam, we recommend insertion of the following additional provisions into various family-law statutes:

1. In the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, after Section 17 a new Section 17-A be inserted to the effect that a married person whose marriage is governed by this Act cannot marry again even after changing religion unless the first marriage is dissolved or declared null and void in accordance with law, and if such a marriage is contracted it will be null and void and shall attract application of Sections 494-495 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. 2. If there is registration of every marriage under all the acts, then there are chances of less occurrence of the Bigamy. So, registration of marriages should be made compulsory all over the country. 3. There should be amendment in the act which provides injunction to the concept of second marriage i.e. the first wife can stop the husband from marrying again till the time she is alive. 4. In the Special Marriage Act 1954 a provision be inserted to the effect that if an existing marriage, by whatever law it is governed, becomes inter-religious due to change of religion by either party it will hence forth be governed by the provisions of the Special Marriage Act including its anti-bigamy provisions. 5. The offences relating to bigamy under Sections 494-495 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 be made cognizable by necessary amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law CONCLUSION The concept of bigamy is very populous and is of major concern in country like India. Unfortunately most of the new law as settled by the Supreme Court is now widely known to the public at large and is being constantly violated in numerous cases. Also, for a long time past, married men whose personal law does not allow bigamy have been resorting to the unhealthy and immoral practice of converting to Islam for the sake of contracting a second bigamous marriage under a belief that such conversion enables them to marry again without getting their first marriage dissolved. Therefore, it is high time to turn the apex courts ruling into a clear legislative provision inserted into all matrimonial-law statutes of the country. Though the rulings were handed down in the context of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 they will apply to all marriages governed by the other family-law statutes only. It would give relief to women who have been tricked into bigamous marriages and then denied maintenance after the break-up of the marriage. My own view is that if the proposal is limited to procuring maintenance for a woman who has been left destitute after the break-up of a marriage, even a bigamous one, it should be welcomed. The record of the current family court system is a mixed bagin any case, not a commendable record. Over the last nearly quarter of a century, the system has given rise to anger, frustration and resentment over its functioning. The system lacks the trust of the majority of justice seeking population regarding its capability to provide a fair and just forum for handling family disputes. Unless the present situation of the family courts is remedied, the women will be forced to remain unsecured within their families and society. The overall situation is the same everywhere with minor differences. It has still to go a long way to accomplish the objectives implied in the Family court act.

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An analysis of law on Bigamy: comparison of Family law and Criminal law

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books: 1. Diwan, Paras., Family Law, Allahabad Law Agency, Faridabad,2003. 2. Kumar, Vijai, Marriage Laws In Indian Society, Manak Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2008. 3. Kusum, Family Law Lectures I, Butterworths Wadhwa, Nagpur, 2008 4. Magoo , I.K., Law of Maintenance and Child Custody, Capital Law House, Delhi, 2005. 5. Myneni, S.R., Muslim Law, Asia Law House, Hyderabad, 2009. 6. Nijjar, Manjit Singh, Nullity Of Marriage Under Hindu Law, Deep And Deep Publications,New Delhi, 1994. 7. Sharma, Basant K., Hindu Law, Central Law Agency, Allahabad, 2008. 8. Verma, B.R., Mohammedan Law, Law Publisher India Pvt. Ltd., Allahabad, 2005. Internet sources: 1. http://nchro.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6995:the-myth-ofbigamy-in-india&catid=44:women&Itemid=45 2. http://legalpoint-india.blogspot.com/2009/09/bigamy-issue-of-one-too-many.html 3. http://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l356-Family-Courts-in-India.html 4. http://majlislaw.com/en/top/resource-centre/legal-news-and-updates-/ 5. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/twice-shy/521715/0 6. http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/for-maintenance-no-strict-proof-of-marriagerequired_563748.html 7. http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_for-maintenance-no-strict-proof-of-marriagerequired-hc_1290402 8. http://books.google.com/books?id=uDVHN6xkdiMC&pg=PA78#v=onepage&q&f=false 9. http://paa2010.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=100754

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