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Second Marriage Was Celebrated With Proper Ceremonies Like Saptapadi - Offence Of Bigamy U/S 494 IPC Will Attract : Allahabad HC

Offence Of Bigamy U/S 494 IPC Will Attract Only When Second Marriage Was Celebrated With Proper Ceremonies Like Saptapadi: Allahabad HC. The Allahabad High Court held that an offence of Bigamy (Section 494 IPC) will be attracted only when the 'second marriage' was celebrated with proper ceremonies like ‘Saptapadi'.

The Bench quashed the summoning order passed by the trial court against the wife for offences under Sections 494, 504 and 506 of the I.P.C. 


A Single Bench of Justice Gautam Chowdhary observed, “If the marriage is not a valid marriage, according to the law applicable to the parties, it is not a marriage in the eyes of law. It is also well settled that to constitute an offence under Section 494 I.P.C., it is necessary that the second marriage should have been celebrated with proper ceremonies and in due form. The 'Saptapadi' ceremony under the Hindu Law is one of the essential ingredients to constitute a valid marriage but the said evidence is lacking in the present case.


Advocate Diwakar Mishra represented the revisionist, while AGA Jai Kishan Chaurasia appeared for the opposite party.


The first husband filed a complaint alleging that his wife had solemnized another marriage without obtaining a divorce decree, while he, the first husband, was still alive.


The Court explained that the word 'solemnize', in connection with a marriage, meant “to celebrate the marriage with proper ceremonies and in due form.” therefore, unless a marriage was celebrated or performed with proper ceremonies and due form, it could not be said to be 'solemnized'. “If the marriage is not a valid marriage, according to the law applicable to the parties, it is not a marriage in the eyes of law,” the Court added.


The 'Saptapadi' ceremony under Hindu Law, being an essential ingredient to constitute a valid marriage, was lacking in this case. Hence, the Court was of the view that no prima facie offence was made out against the wife as the allegation of second marriage was a “bald allegation without corroborative materials.


In the absence of any cogent evidence regarding the second marriage being solemnized, the Court held that it was “difficult to hold that the 'Saptapadi ceremony' of the marriage as contended by the complainant was performed so as to constitute a valid marriage between the parties concerned.”


Consequently, the Court held, “The criminal proceedings against the revisionist initiated by the opposite party No. 2 under Section 494 I.P.C. is nothing but a malicious prosecution with an ulterior motive, which is clear abuse of process of the Court, thus, summoning the revisionist under Section 494 I.P.C vide impugned order dated 20.02.2023 is not sustainable.

Accordingly, the High Court partly allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Nisha v. State of U.P. & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC:72904)

Appearance:

Revisionist: Advocates Diwakar Mishra, Gaurav Kumar Srivastava and Mohd Afroz Khan

Opposite Party: AGA Jai Kishan Chaurasia; GA Baleshwar Dayal; Advocates Mayank Prakash Rawat and Surendra Kumar Source: https://www.verdictum.in/amp/court-updates/high-courts/allahabad-high-court-nisha-v-state-of-up-2024ahc72904-second-marriage-celebrated-with-saptapadi-to-constitute-bigamy-1533680


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