Civil Procedure Code (CPC)


What are mock marriages ?

Hello ma'am
Mock marriages are defined under section 496 of Indian Penal Code which states that:
Whoever, dishonestly or with a fraudulent intention, goes through the ceremony of being married, knowing that he is not thereby lawfully married, shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 496 punishes fraudulent or mock marriage. This section applies to such cases in which marriage ceremony is complete but under no circumstances constitutes a valid marriage and in which one of the parties is induced to believe that a valid marriage has been constituted thereby.
The essential ingredients of Section 496 are:
i) The accused went through the form of marriage
ii) He knew that he was not lawfully married.
iii) He went through the form of marriage dishonestly or fraudulently
In Prasanna Kumar v. Dhanalaxmi, the accused married for the second time during the pendency of special appeal against decree of divorce in violation of Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act but without concealing the fact of pendency of the appeal from the girl or her parents, it was held that no conviction could be entered under Section 496 IPC as the act of the accused was neither dishonest nor fraudulent.
Hope this helps
Krish Mahajan


Appellate Criminal Defence Advocate


Section 496 IPC punishes for deceitful marriages. The ingredients for the offence are dishonest or fraudulent intention on the part of either of the party knowing that it is a not a marriage. It is generally done with the intention to serve any ulterior motive, like a man marrying a woman to obtain her jewelry or to create property rights etc.


Abhishek Tiwari




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