Mere Admission Of 2nd Marriage By Accused Isn’t Evidence Of It For Purpose Of Proving Marriage In Bigamy Case: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

Mere Admission Of 2nd Marriage By Accused Isn’t Evidence Of It For Purpose Of Proving Marriage In Bigamy Case: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

Mere going through certain ceremonies with intention to marriage will not make the ceremonies prescribed by law or approved by customs, the court said.

The Bombay High Court has held that admission of marriage by the accused is not evidence of it for the purpose of proving a marriage in a bigamy case.

Allowing the appeal of a man convicted of bigamy (Section 494 IPC), Justice AS Gadkari said there is no evidence on record to establish that, the accused performed second marriage by following necessary and essential ceremonies as per the mandate of law.

In this case, the man, after his first wife left him, married another lady who later committed suicide. He was charged with abetting of suicide, cheating and bigamy. He was convicted by the trial court for bigamy, though it acquitted him for abetting of suicide. The high court was hearing his appeal against conviction for the charge of bigamy.

Referring to the apex court judgment in Baburao Shankar Lokhande and another vs. The State of Maharashtra, the court said for application of Section 494, marriage must come within 'solemnized marriage'. 'Solemnize' means to celebrate the marriage with proper ceremonies and in due form. “Mere going through certain ceremonies with intention to marriage will not make the ceremonies prescribed by law or approved by customs,” the court said.

Also referring to another apex court judgment in Kanwal Ram and others vs. The Himachal Pradesh Administration, the court said the second marriage as a fact, that is to say, the essential ceremonies constituting it, must be proved.

Acquitting the accused, the court said: “There is no evidence on record to establish that, the appellant performed second marriage by following necessary and essential ceremonies as per the mandate of law. It is therefore, clear from the evidence on record that the marriage between the appellant and the deceased Mrs. Shyamal was not established beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution and consequently does not come within the purview of Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code even though the first wife of the appellant Mrs. Sangeeta was alive when he married with Mrs. Shyamal in April, 2012.”

Read the Judgment Here