OFFENCE AGAINST WOMEN BIGAMY

Updated: Sep 14


LAWXPERTSMV   # NOTES FOR UPSC LAW OPTIONAL MAINS

OFFENCE AGAINST WOMEN – BIGAMY SECTION 394 IPC



The following are the main offenses committed against women.

Section 354 to 373 was already discussed. The rest are discussed herewith:


1) Bigamy [Sec. 394 of the I.P.C.]- Watch Out! having two living spouse at same time is an offence.


2) Cohabitation by deceitful means by making a woman believe that she is lawfully wedded to him. [Sec. 493 of the I.P.C.] Beware ! Touch a girl only when you really intend to wedlock her.


3) Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage[ Sec. 496 of the I.P.C. ATTENTION! Mock marriages not only a sin but also an offence ( @ offenders don’t wait for hell / you will be punished on earth ).


4) Adultery [Sec. 497 of the I.P.C.] See it right ! never overlook your wedlock, IPC cautions you- Recently held to be unconstitutional #Joseph Shine vs. Union of India


5) Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman [ Sec. 498 of the I.P.C.] Warning ! if you steal others wife, IPC will steal your life and personal liberty from you.


6) Cruelty by husband or relative of husband [ Sec. 498-A of the I.P.C.’] STAY CAUTIONED !  you make your daughter in law unhappy then IPC makes the whole family unhappy.


7) Insulting the modesty of a woman by any word gesture of act [Sec. 509 of the I.P.C.] MIND YOU ! you are in this world because of a women dare to insult her modesty.


BIGAMY


BIGAMY simply means the offence of marrying someone while already married to another person.


SECTION 394: Marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife: Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries in any 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 a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine


SECTION 394 has 3 major components :

COMPONENT 1: DEFINE BIGAMY as follows: A person commits bigamy when he/she: – When  husband or wife living, – marries another person #  Lingari Obulamma vs L. Venkata Reddy .


COMPONENT 2: RESULT OF BIGAMOUS MARRIAGE:

BIGAMOUS MARRIAGE = VOID , – by reason of its taking place during the life of husband or wife.


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COMPONENT 3: PUNISHMENT FOR COMMITTING BIGAMY:

PUNISHMENT : imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine


EXCEPTION-

(1) When the previous marriage has been declared void by a competent court # Gopal Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan .

TO ATTRACT BIGAMY BOTH MARRIAGES MUST BE VAILD

VALIDITY OF MARRIAGE ? MARRIAGE MUST FULLFIL PERSONAL LAW REQUIREMENTS/ CEREMONIES


(2) When the husband or wife has been continually absent or not heard of for seven years, provided that the fact is disclosed to the person with whom the second marriage is contracted.


(3) When the first marriage was dissolved by a decree of divorce by a court having the competent jurisdiction.


(4) Mohammedan males do not come within the purview of this section since a Mohammedan male may have four wives at a time according to his personal law.


BIGAMY BY CONCEALING PRIOR MARRIAGE:Section 495 Indian Penal Code states that, “Same offence with concealment of former marriage from person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted- 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 be liable to fine”.


LEGAL PARADOX: These sections apply to Mohammedan women but not to Mohammedan men, while they apply equally to men and women amongst Hindus, Christians and Parsis # See Hindu Marriage Act, 1955


WHETHER OTHER RELIGION MALES CAN CONVERT TO ISLAM JUST TO REMARRY ?

This was answered by SC in famous Sarla Mudgal, President, Kalyani v Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 1531 : Mere conversion does not automatically dissolve the first marriage, and thereby doe not absolve the person from criminal liability for committing the offence of bigamy. One cannot covert for purpose of remarrying.


WHO CAN MAKE A COMPLAINT? ONLY FIRST WIFE ? Nope, even the second wife can make the complaint of offence of bigamy # Subash Babu Vs. State of A.P. & ANR. On 21 July, 2011


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