Marriage is considered to be the union of a male and a female. In Indian its regarded as sacred. Marriage is aimed at such a relationship which has evolved over trust, companionship, affection, care, support, of the two individuals. Despite of all the importance given to the relationship of individuals through a medium of marriage its disheartening to know that there are offences pertaining to marriage. The Indian Penal Code,1860 states the offences related to marriage.
Section 493 – Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage
Every man who by deceit causes any woman who is not lawfully married to him to believe that she is lawfully married to him and to cohabit or have sexual intercourse with him in that belief, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
- The accused practiced deception.
- Such deceit was to induce the woman to believe that she was lawfully married to him.
- There was cohabitation or sexual intercourse as a result of deception.
State of Jharkhand v. Ram Chandra
The facts of the case are as hereunder, the accused had promised appellant to marry her but did not marry after cohabiting for nine years. Apart from cohabitation the appellant had given birth to two children out of such belief that the accused would marry her. Provisions of section 493 however do not apply here as accused made promise to marry and has not cause deceit to the appellant.
Section 494 – 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 it 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 -This section 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.
An act by either husband or wife to marry during the current marriage subsists amounts to void marriage. Such husband or wife shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and with fine also.
Ingredients of Bigamy
- Earlier valid marriage which is in subsistence.
- Second marriage valid according to the law.
The above section doesn’t apply in cases where the marriage is declared as void by the court and where the spouse is not found or traceable or heard of for a period extending seven years.
Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India
Before dissolution of first marriage no spouse can perform second marriage.
Section 495 – 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 also be liable to fine.
Section 496 – Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage
Whoever, dishonestly or with a fraudulent intention, goes through the ceremony of being married, knowing that he is not thereby lawfully married, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also tie liable to fine.
Section 497 – Adultery
Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.
Section 498 – Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman
Whoever takes or entices away any woman who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of any other man, from that man, or from any person having the care of her on behalf of that man, with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person, or conceals or detains with that intent any such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
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