Second Marriage Amid Subsistence Of 1st Is Rape, Not Just Bigamy: Bombay HC

Mumbai news

In a groundbreaking ruling, the Bombay High Court has firmly declared that entering into a second marriage while the first spouse is still alive and the subsisting is tantamount to rape and not merely bigamy. This landmark decision has far-reaching implications for marital laws in India.

The judgment, delivered by a division bench consisting of Justice A. K. Menon and Justice S.C. Gupte, came in response to a case where the accused had married a second time while his first wife was alive. The court ruled that this act constituted an act of rape, as it violated the first wife’s consent, trust, and dignity.

The verdict highlights the judiciary’s commitment to upholding the dignity and rights of individuals within the institution of marriage. The court emphasized that the first wife’s consent is crucial, and any subsequent marriage while the first marriage is still valid is tantamount to sexual assault on the first spouse.

The decision also reaffirms the principle that Indian law does not recognize bigamy. Bigamy, the act of marrying multiple people simultaneously, is a criminal offense under Section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code. This ruling sends a clear message that such actions will be treated with the utmost seriousness by the courts.

This judgment is a significant step forward in addressing the complexities surrounding marital relationships and their legal implications in India. It highlights the importance of consent and respect within marriages and underscores the duty of the judiciary to protect the rights of individuals, particularly in cases of exploitation within the confines of matrimony.

In conclusion, the Bombay High Court’s ruling establishes a powerful precedent by classifying second marriages during the subsistence of the first as a form of rape, not just bigamy. This decision underscores the court’s commitment to safeguarding the dignity and rights of individuals within the institution of marriage and sends a clear warning to those considering such actions that they will face serious legal consequences for their actions.


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