What is the punishment for second marriage in India?

The second marriage is called Bigamy in India. You must know that second marriage was prevalent during the ancient period. We have seen that many kings and emperors were also engaged with it. There was a time when one king used to marry and live with several women. According to them, it was right, and they are free to do so. But if we go deep into the matter, you will find that it is illegal to marry two women at a time. India is a vast country, and you will get people of various religions residing in this land.

What is the provision of Second marriage or bigamy?

Second marriage is illegal under the Indian Penal Code or IPC. It comes under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code. The law clearly states that whoever during the lifetime of his or her husband and wife marries for the second time, the marriage shall be considered to be void. It is a punishable offence and comes under the Indian Penal Code. If anyone marries for the second time while his wife or husband is alive will be punished with seven years of imprisonment and a fine.

When can one say that second marriage is an offence?

In specific cases, it will be declared that second marriage is an offence. Here are the primary points.

  • The accused has to be married. This is mandatory for bigamy cases.
  • They have to commit a second marriage.
  • There should be subsistence of the second marriage.
  • It is necessary to see that the wife or the husband of the first marriage is alive.
  • Both marriages need to complete all the necessary formalities and customs. It is required to complete these rituals.

What are the exceptions of a second marriage?

Some exceptions are found under which you can see that the second marriage is valid. If the competent court decides that person’s first marriage is void, he can perform a second marriage. If it is found that the husband or wife marries for the second time when his or her better half is missing for seven long years. There is no harm in marrying for the second time in such a case. Thus, in these situations and cases, second marriage is considered valid, and no one can do anything against it.

However, you must know that a second wife has no such legal rights. The second wife does not have any right on the property of the husband. She cannot claim anything out of the marriage. It is the second wife who can file a petition for declaring the marriage as void. The first wife has no such right to claim the marriage as legal in any way.

The prevalence of second marriage from ancient time has changed Indian society and culture. Still, a good percentage of people support and follow these systems. Some are hidden, while some are bought before the general people. We must try to maintain some principles in our life.