A plea for amendment of bigamy laws in India
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Snigdha was happily married to Dr.Narayan for 3 yrs. Suddenly one day she came to know from some distant relative that her husband and in laws were planning for Narayan’s remarriage. Snigdha who was pregnant overlooked this as she never thought this could happen, but soon the scenario changed and she was thrown out of the house by her in-laws. Due to stress she had to face a miscarriage. While she was trying hard to save her marriage, one fine day she came across Narayan’s matrimony advertisement in the newspaper. Soon after it, Narayan remarried without settling a divorce with Snigdha and send message from a common friend to Snigdha that she cannot take any legal action against him as she will never be able to prove his second marriage, the only option available with her is to take divorce. Now Narayan has an illegal son and happily roams around in society as a respected doctor.He openly rants and boasts that no one can ever prove his second marriage or send him behind bars.
In India marriage is considered a sacred thread between a man & woman. In the past polygamy was prevalent in India but today monogamy is the order of time and polygamy an offense. Hon’ble Supreme court allows a women to file an FIR for bigamy without any proof, but It is almost impossible for anyone to prove their spouse's second marriage in the court. In majority of the cases the victims are women who are subjected to ‘double jeopardy’ i.e., they waste their money, time and reputation trying to bring the truth forward spending most time in corridors of the court.
Also due to modifications in the standards of lifestyle in our evergrowing society; we no longer live in an area surrounded by our relatives or friends as was the position at the time of enactment of section494 of IPC ,decades ago.Hence in olden times, acquiring a proof of illegal marriages and relationships was much easier.
Now due to new means of commuting we are living at different places and even in different nations and the bondage of relationships has also weakened. Hence it is not all that feasible to get a proof of such illegal marriages or illicit relationships in order that we may fulfill the requirement of 494.
Therefore any man who breaks the law today, can roam around freely in front of his spouse & society and no legal action can be taken against him for lack of proof and evidence.
People have stopped fearing the law and have designed their own loopholes to sec 494 of IPC as No proof implies no punishment. So a man like Narayan can marry as many females as wives as he wishes to and will be exempted from punishment if no proof of ceremonial solemnization while performing the marriages is available.
We know that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India have the ‘inherent powers’ to interfere in matters and make laws where the law is being misused. We have witnessed this in so many instances, recently in case of triple talaq. This is a plea to relieve pains of victim females of our country and interpret the bigamy laws in context of new circumstances.
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