• Bigamy by wife

My brother-in-law got married in Dec 2013 and since the 2nd month of his marriage his wife started creating issues at home. During the course of 1.5 years of marriage she has spent most of her time at her parents home. Recently we found out that she had been married before, on some further investigation we were able to trace her previous husband and he confirmed that the marriage ended mutual consent but not through Court, it was done via a notary. In the meantime she has filed a false court case citing DV seeking compensation and maintenance from my brother-in-law. My question is as follows:

1. Can my brother-in-law file a police compliant under Sections 420 (cheating), 494 (marrying again during lifetime of husband) and 495 (offence with concealment of former marriage from person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted).

2. As the case against my brother-in-law is built on false grounds, in our response we want to declare the marriage null and void under IPC section 494, section 5(1), 11 under Hindu marriage act both declaring 2nd marriage illegal (null and void) and therefore seek dismissal of the case from the court. 

3. Can we file a divorce case against them for bigamy and seek compensation for the amount spend on marriage, harassment, cheating and fraud under IPC Section 415 and Section 420. 

Your views in the above matter will be greatly appreciated.
Asked 3 years ago in Family Law from Nagpur, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu
1. Yes, your BIL can lodge a police complaint u/s 420, 494 and 495 of IPC against the lady,

2. Irrespective of the fact that she has filed a DV case against your BIL, he should file a petition for annulment of his marriage,

3. No case of bigamy can be made out here. The incidence happened before her said void marriage with your BIL  and not after that. However, your BIL can ask for compensation for being cheated  and also for having spent substantial amount towards marriage expenses.  
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18818 Answers
454 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Yes the sections you have mentioned are squarely applicable in your case.
2. Yes it is a fit case where marriage would be declared as null and void. Use the petition she filed against her first husband to prove bigamy.
3. Since you are filing suit for nullity there is no nenecessity to file divorce suit.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
13191 Answers
175 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) your brother in law can file case of bigamy against his wife under section 494 of IPC 

2) your brother can file petition for declaration that marriage is a nullify as it was performed during subsistence of earlier marriage  

3) it is not necessary to file divorce case as once court declared marriage null and void no divorce is necessary 

4) your brother in law can file case of cheating against his wife 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
46908 Answers
2775 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

 Unfortunately it is again it has once more came into light of the ill-practice of   advocates  preparing fake divorce deeds  in Mumbai/ other parts of Maharashtra, the wife may or may not be a victim of this  trend depending on how aware she was about the fake divorce decree. If the same was hidden from the husband at the time of marriage he is a victim of cheating and fraud. 
 Yes your brother in law can file FIR under 495., 495, 420, and 405 of I.P.C..as the marriage is a contract.
494 Ipc -
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.
495 Ipc-says -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.

2. The Marriage can be declared null and void and your brother in law should move a petition for that within one year of knowledge of its existence. DV case will stand if facts of cruelty/the allegations  are mentioned and if it can be proved .even if the marriage is void DV case can be filed.

3. Divorce can be file on nullity ground. However nullity order or the ground for filing nullity will not dismiss her claims of maintenance or other reliefs if she can prove it in court .
Cheating, harassment, fraud will be applicable if the husband was not aware or seen the so called decree made by the advocate
Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1515 Answers
139 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

A Complaint with police for cheating can be filed but a  complaint for the offence of bigamy cannot be filed by the brother in law because he is the person married her while her previous marriage subsisted. 
Instead your brother in law can challenge her false case about it maintainability due to her fraudulent act of suppressing the fact of per previous marriage and married him hence it is not tenable in law. 
He can file a a petition before family court too us 12 of HMA seeking nullity of his marriage due to the subsistence of previous marriage during contracting into second marriage.  The marriage can be annulled on this ground.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
37100 Answers
403 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. No divorce can take place outside the court. A court of law alone can grant divorce. The notarized divorce has no legal recognition. As a corollary thereto, your brother-in-law's wife continues to remain married to her first husband.

2. Your brother-in-law can prosecute his wife for bigamy and also cheating.

3. He is also at liberty to apply for divorce on the ground of cruelty. He may also seek a heavy compensation from his wife as she married him by concealing her previous marriage.

4. Last but not least, he can raise a counter claim against his wife to seek the dismissal and also compensation from her.

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
23180 Answers
641 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Yes you may file all the above cases and getter cornered. She has not been legally divorced so this current marriage won't be considered by the court. 

Please file the petition to make the marriage null and void. Thereafter file a case against her for cheating and spoiling her husband's life. 

You are going just perfect. 

All the best! 


Adv. Payal
Payal Arora
Advocate, Pune
339 Answers
15 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

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