rights of first wife in case husband did illegal bigamy

(written behalf of my mother)

What are the legal rights available to first wife in case husband has done second marriage without giving divorce to me (first wife).

I could file suit for maintenance or bigamy (criminal) or both to him but in which case i have fair chance to get maintenance as well as share in his earned property (movable-non movable), ancestral property (yet to be transferred to him), PLI & GPF on his retirement.

In case i sue him for maintenance i might get reasonable maintenance untill his job but when he would be retired (1 year later) i would have to compromise in his pension which would  not be reasonable for me to survive contrary he would have money lump sum in 10 lakhs as annuity of his GPF at that time.

I have been in stress from last many years also have 3 adults wholly dependent on me  as they are unemployed. i am simple house wife without any fare education.

Kindly give your valuable suggestion .


in law, different provisions offer different remedies.

eg. -

1) bigamy - IPC 494 is a criminal case - remedy offered = punishment to the wrong doer

2) maintenance (DV act / CrPC 125) - civil remedy - no punishment - the husband would make to pay the wife and take care of her residensial needs.

the first wife is the ONLY legal wife.

in fact, the second wife has no rights on the husband / his property.

may be - as per the circumstances, the court may grant her some maintenance.

children of second wife are LEGITIMATE children. they have all the rights on the husband's self earned property - they do not have any right on the husband's ancestral property.

for further details, my contact no. is given in my profile.

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CRIMINAL family PROPERTY topfreind@gmail.com

The laws are gender biased but now the legal experts are finding loop holes in them.


We agree that second wife has no rights and for action of BIGAMY  it has to be proved.


But even first wife has to prove marriage. The accused can always take the plea that there was no legal marriage.


Even far maintenance the first wife has to give valid reason for living the company of husband.






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Thanks gentleman .

i have still unresolved main issue-

which suit i should follow ,under 494 for bigamy or 125 for maintenance or sue him under both 125 & 494 so that i could get reasonable maintenance as well as share in his GPF,PLI or any other bond if any?

also as i am the only legal heir for his ancestral property until he signed a will to another is it?


Dear Sandeep,

U can contact me to clear whole of ur queries. Besides that I've many queries to be replied from ur side...before giving my opinion....u may call me at 9871158578/9990225600

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some points explained half and the points given by you are half

1.  you can file for maintenance and also check wheater whose name is their in the office records and give a formal letter in the office where your husband is working

2. about bigamy his job will be in trouble and may be suspended till the case is proved

3. about ancestral property you have legal right rather then second wife 

4. thus he stays with you or with second and why and what circumstances made him to marry second is the big question

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I will clarify all your doubts.

First, bigamy case is a criminal case.  If you can prove bigamy, he will be arrested and sent to jail.  You will not get maintenance.  It is not maintenance case.  Even if you write a complaint to his office about bigamy, he will be in big trouble and he will be suspended and after domestic enquiry, he may be terminated from the services.

But, if you want to get maintenance, you have to file S.125 Cr.P.C. case and you will get that amount if you show that he is not giving proper maintenance to you.

In respect of his post retirement benefits, as long as he lives, he can enjoy them.  After that, you are entitled to those benefits, irrespective of to whomsoever he nominates.  But your adult sons are not entitled but unmarried adult daughters are entitled till their marriage.

I suggest you to file S.125 cr.p.c. in the present circumstances.

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Thanx for lucid explanation. I will go with 125 crpc for sure. Could i also claim share in his post retirement sum like GPF along with suit for maintenance? Regarding reason for second marriage it was breach of trust by him only. He is staying with his second.

she cannot claim his  retirement benefits like GPF while husband is alive at the time of retirement.




You cannot claim any of his post retirement benefits if he nominates anyone else by his WILL. 

You may go for 125 and look for maintenance if he is ignoring u and if u r able to prove ur marriage.

If u go for bigamy, u need to prove it and if u win, he will be in jail and then u will not be able to get maintenance from him.




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