consent of the first wife does not give right to a man to solemnize second marriage during the lifetime of first wife.

A division bench of the High Court of Patna comprising Justices Hemant Kumar Srivastava and  Prabhat Kumar Singh has held that the consent of the first wife does not give right to a man to solemnize second marriage during the lifetime of first wife.

The appellant was working as Assistant Sub Inspector in Central Reserve Police Force (C.R.P.F) at Imphal and had solemnized his second marriage with one, Sunita Upadhyay (who was working as a constable in C.R.P.F) during the subsistence of first marriage of the appellant. A departmental proceeding was initiated against the appellant on the complaint made by his first wife, Ranju Singh. During the completion of the departmental proceedings, the appellant was proved guilty and was dismissed from service by the order of the competent authority.

The appellant being aggrieved by the order of his dismissal preferred revision against the order, but his revision stood dismissed. The counsel for the appellant submitted that though the departmental proceeding was initiated on the complaint made by the first wife of the appellant eventually, in the course of the proceeding, the first wife of the appellant filed an affidavit mentioning that the appellant had solemnized his marriage with Sunita Upadhyay with her permission and consent.

The counsel appearing for the respondent refuted the submissions made by the appellant and submitted that the Disciplinary Authority had considered all the aspects of the matter and that the appellant had filed forged documents during the course of departmental proceedings for which a separate charge was framed against him.

The court while dismissing the appeal after hearing both sides, said that even if it is presumed that the first wife of the appellant had given him consent for second marriage, such consent of the first wife of the appellant does not give right to appellant to solemnize second marriage during the lifetime of the first wife under Hindu Marriage Act.

Section 5(i) of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 says that:

5. Condition for a Hindu Marriage.- A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:

(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;

Taking note of this provision, the bench observed :

“So far as contentions advanced on behalf of appellant is concerned, even if, it is presumed that the first wife of appellant had given her consent for second marriage then also, the aforesaid consent of first wife of the appellant does not give right to appellant to solemnize second marriage during lifetime of first wife”

Case Details :
Title: Binod Kumar Singh v. Union of India
Case No: Civil Writ Jurisdiction No. 8078 of 2007
Quorum: Justices Hemant Kumar Srivastava and Prabhat Kumar Singh
Appearances: Advocates Mr.Arun Kumar, Mr. Nirmal Kumar Sinha (for appellant)
Mr. Manoj Kumar Singh, C.G.C (for respondent)

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