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karnataka-high-court

DOES THE OPPOSING PARTY IN A BIGAMY SUIT HAVE THE GROUNDS OF DELAY AS A DEFENCE OR DOES THE OFFENCE OF BIGAMY REMAIN A CONTINUING OFFENCE?: Karnataka High Court

This particular decision is upheld by the Karnataka High Court through the learned bench led by JUSTICE M NAGAPRASANNA in the case of Anand C. & Others V. Chandramma (CP no. 9849/2021)

Facts: The 1st petitioner got married to the respondent in the year 1968. Between the years of 1972 and 1973, the 1st petitioner got married to the respondent’s sister, Savitramma with the consent of the respondent. The 1st petitioner further married the 2nd petitioner/Smt. Varalakshmi is 1993 with the permission and consent of the 1st and 2nd wives.

The 1st petitioner equally dived all property amongst the three wives and therefore, the wives were aware of the 1st petitioner’s marriage between themselves.

The respondent, in the year 2018 filed a private complaint under section 200 of the Criminal Procedure code, 1974 against the petitioners and alleging offences of bigamy under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and sections 109 and section 34 of the same act.

The respondent also filed an application under section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2015 immediately after the registration of the private complaint.

Judgement: The learned bench whilst considering the question of whether bigamy remains as a continuing offence held that the “If the admitted facts as deliberated above are taken note of, it cannot be in doubt that the 1st petitioner has contracted the second or the third marriage during the subsistence of the first marriage with a complaint.”

The bench further held that “no interpretation is needed or required to be given as the 1st petitioner admits that he is the husband of three women and is therefore in the web of the offence punishable under section 494 of the IPC”

The bench dismissed the suit with the following final word, “It is for the protagonists in the quadrangle to resolve the issue amongst theses and not drag other persons into such proceeding. If proceedings against other petitioners are not quashed, then it becomes an abuse of the process of law and would result in a miscarriage of justice.

Judgement reviewed by Adithya Prasad

Click here to view judgement

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