Every law broken by a woman is either overlooked or often found funny when it comes to matrimonial cases. A man recently approached the Gujarat High Court seeking help for his wife’s custody, as he thought she had been under house arrest by her parents.
However, the husband was in for a rude shock when this happened!
The man was agitated because his marriage registration with a 20-year-old woman had taken place just three-months ago. On July 3 this year, the couple got married with their own consent at the registrar’s office in Shahpur.
However, the woman’s family was not aware of this marriage and thus the petitioner thought that his wife’s parents were against the same and not permitting her to join him. After keeping his patience and waiting for over a month, he finally approached the city police and requested them to free his wife from her parents.
The cops did not help the man and hence, he filed a habeas corpus petition in the Gujarat High Court. In his petition, the man alleged that his wife was under “illegal confinement”.
What happened next was unbelievable for all. On October 8, the woman appeared before the court, however, with another man. She accepted in front of the judges that she had registered her marriage with the petitioner at Shahpur. However, later she got in touch with another man through social media and fell in love with him.
The woman also mentioned that she converted to Islam and married the second man as he is a Muslim.
Petitioner was the legal husband, however, the woman was not ready to live with him. The woman has studied up to the second year of her graduation and confessed that she clearly understood the consequences of marriage registration involving her husband. The woman also accepted the illegality she had committed.
The woman openly told court that she would not fulfil her matrimonial obligations to her first husband, because she had already married another man after changing her religion.
The judges tried to explain to her that without taking divorce from the first husband legally, she could not marry another man. The court also suggested that any further involvement of hers would not render the legal validity to her new relationship.
Woman’s Father Was Unaware Of Either Marriage
The high court observed that in this case, the real victim was the woman’s father, as he was not aware of any of his daughter’s marriages. The judges tired to explain to the woman that she had created this problem and that she will have to end it legally.
The father on the other hand, who was not aware of anything his daughter had been doing, was eager to meet her.
When the court asked the woman if she wanted to meet her father, she initially denied, but later agreed to meet him, as she wanted to introduce her new husband to the father.
Bigamy Law In India
Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code states:
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.
Exception to this section is that it does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been declared void by a court of 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 the subsequent marriage shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such person as being alive within that time provided the person contracting such subsequent marriage shall, before such marriage takes place, inform the person with whom such marriage is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge.
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.
If this case was reversed, the man would have been charged with Bigamy and also the court would have ordered legal action. Such is the fictitious hype created around #MalePrivilege in our country. There is zero consideration for Men who are in the wrong in matrimonial cases, while Women keep getting a free pass.