Bombay High Court has rejected a request to dismiss a First Information Report (FIR) filed against an individual who contracted a second marriage while the first one was still legally binding.
The bench noted that this action doesn’t only come under the offense of bigamy but also amounts to offence of rape.
On August 24, Justice Nitin Sambre and Justice Rajesh Patil handed down a verdict in which they dismissed the petition filed by the man who faced charges from the Pune police under the Indian Penal Code Section 376 (rape) and Section 494 (bigamy).
As per the First Information Report, the man, as well as the woman whom he married (second marriage), are academicians by profession.
The man started visiting a woman after she lost her husband in February 2006 with the intent to provide her with moral support. As per the FIR, the man claimed that he divorced his wife due to marital discord and let the woman believe that he was a divorcee.
He married her in 2014 and stayed together until January 31, 2016. He abandoned her and returned to his first wife.
During the investigation, it was found that the man misrepresented himself as a divorcee and deceived the woman into marriage and physical relationship with false promises to marry.
However, the counsel representing the man claimed that the woman was aware that he had initiated the divorce proceedings against his first wife in 2010 which he later withdrew.
The bench noted that the man had acknowledged entering into a second marriage while his initial marriage remained legally binding, all the while asserting that their relationship was consensual. Moreover, the High Court concluded that engaging in a physical relationship with the complainant while his first marriage was still in effect could potentially fulfill the criteria for Section 376 (rape).