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PUNE

Woman remarries before divorce, faces bigamy case

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Accused allegedly slapped domestic violence charges against second husband after he confronted her on knowing her past; complainant’s advocates call her plea abuse of law

Yet in another alleged case of misuse of the women protection laws, a woman — software engineer by profession — got married to another man without taking divorce from her first husband. When the second husband came to know about her first marriage, he filed petition for nullity, but the woman then reportedly filed domestic violence case against the second husband. Taking all the evidence on record, the first husband has now filed a bigamy case against the techie. A Khadki court, taking cognisance of the facts, has asked the woman to remain present before the court and file her written statement.

The first husband has filed a private complaint of bigamy against his 30-year-old wife in the Judicial Magistrate First Class court. The couple got married in May 2005 according to Hindu rituals. They performed marriage without informing the woman’s father, leading to dispute between the two families, which was later settled with police help. According to the bigamy complaint, the man’s father-in-law was not happy with the marriage. In 2010, the wife filed an FIR against the husband and his mother under section 498A (cruelty by husband and in-laws), 323 (voluntary causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However the court in 2016 acquitted the man and his mother. She then filed a maintenance plea in the family court, which was also dismissed by the court as she did not remain present for the hearings. The husband seemingly tried to save the marriage and filed a petition of restitution of conjugal rights under the Hindu Marriage Act. But she did not remain present for the case.

The court then passed ex-parte order, which was challenged by her husband but the court observed that this is tactics to prolong the case, and directed her to resume her matrimonial duties with the husband in August 2018.

She did not come back to the husband despite several requests. But there was no divorce either. When the complainant came to know she remarried, he was shocked. The second marriage stands void as per Hindu Marriage Act and under IPC section 494. The second husband filed a petition before the court to declare the marriage null and void and submitted proofs of her first marriage.

She then appeared before the court and stated she took customary divorce (sod-chitti) from the complainant before Kakkayya Samaj, Baramati. In 2012, the complainant’s lawyer proved her claim false. The court asked the woman to file her statement.

Advocate Pushkar Patil, Karishma Patil and Anuj Mantri represented the husband. Advocate Pushkar said, “As soon as the second husband filed nullity petition, the accused filed a domestic violence case against him in a classic example of abuse of law. Our client, her first husband, was already dragged in a false case and was acquitted. The woman remarried without seeking divorce. The judicial officer passed issue process order in the case.”

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