Question: The proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult. Elucidate the statement and refer to decided cases.  Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [The proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult. Elucidate the statement and refer to decided cases. [U.P.C.J. 2013]… Read More »

Question: The proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult. Elucidate the statement and refer to decided cases. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [The proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult. Elucidate the statement and refer to decided cases. [U.P.C.J. 2013] Answer One of the essential ingredients of the offence of bigamy is the existence of a previously contracted marriage....

Question: The proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult. Elucidate the statement and refer to decided cases.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [The proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult. Elucidate the statement and refer to decided cases. [U.P.C.J. 2013]

Answer

One of the essential ingredients of the offence of bigamy is the existence of a previously contracted marriage. It attaches criminality to the act of second marriage by a husband or by a wife who has a living wife or husband.

The second marriage is void. It is, therefore, essential to establish the offence of bigamy that at the time of the second marriage, the person was already married. The first marriage should be subsisting at the time of the second marriage and should be a validly contracted one.

If the first marriage is not a valid marriage, the second marriage does not amount to bigamy. The first husband or wife should be alive when the second marriage was contracted.

In spite of the existence of the provisions in section 494 and 495 under IPC, first wives find that evidence of the second marriage is difficult (most of them are performed secretly or by token rituals like exchange of garlands in a temple) to come upon for criminal prosecution, for the courts demand hard proof.

The Courts have also similar views point on proving or subsistence of marriage. In the case of B. Chandra Manikyamma v. B. Sudarsana Rao Alias Saleem [1988 CriLJ 1849] where the Andhra Pradesh High court observed as follow:

It is very difficult to prove all the ceremonies or remember all the events in the case of a past event which took place about 20 or 30 years ago. With regard to a recent event, i.e. a second marriage which is an offence punishable under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code, strict proof is required and the same principle has been laid down by the Supreme Court. For instance, a man aged about 50 years marries a girl of 20 years while his first wife aged about 45 years is alive.

The marriage between the husband and the wife might have taken place about 25 years ago. Can we expect the persons that were present or the persons who performed the ceremonies in the marriage, to recollect all the rituals that were observed in the marriage?

It is too idle to expect or to remember the ceremonies observed in the first marriage which is a stale event as against the proof of a recent marriage which took place one or two years prior to the date of giving evidence.

Also, the court referred to Section 50 of the Evidence Act which reads as follows:

Opinion on the relationship when relevant:– When the Court has to form an opinion as to the relationship of one person to another, the opinion, expressed by conduct, as to the existence of such relationship, of any person who, as a member of the family or otherwise, has special means of knowledge on the subject, to a relevant fact:

Provided that such opinion shall not be sufficient to prove a marriage in proceedings under the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 or in prosecutions under Section 494, 495, 497 or 498 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).

The Proviso clearly shows that as a fact, the opinion alone itself is not sufficient for proof of the marriage. Section 50 of the Evidence Act never contemplated that the presumption as a whole cannot be taken into account in a case of bigamy.

Thus, it is clear that the proof of the word ‘marries’ in the offence of bigamy is extraordinarily difficult.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-08-30T10:03:08+05:30
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