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Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

Non citizen and divorce

I got married last year Oct 2011 in India in a temple presence of relatives,the marriage not yet registered.

I was an NRI during the time of marriage and holding Indian passport.I was already married to a Belgian citizen and our divorce process was still going on,this is something which i have already informed to the girl and her parents before marriage but they insisted me to get married soon and i got an official divorce in Belgium in Dec 2011.

In this situation is my marriage in India illegal as i got married before getting divorce and if yes then will i be prosecuted for bigamy ? Now the girl and her family are saying that i never told them about my previous marriage and trying to extort money from my family and asking for divorce.I got a Belgian citizenship on March 2012 and i am neither holding Indian citizenship or having a PIO card.In this situation what are the consequences which i should face ?


 16 Replies

Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

Will my wife also get prosecuted for bigamy as she married  me knowing that i am not legally divorced or she could just escape saying that she knew nothing.

As the marriage is not registered so its not recognised in Belgium so i will not be prosecuted here and as per the law here my marriage in a Indian temple is not valid.What all cases she can file againt me in India ?

Adv.R.P.Chugh (Advocate/Legal Consultant (     17 May 2012

Dear Mr.Mukund, 


After reading the facts I have the following to opine :-


1. Your marriage with this lady is VOID, since you are a Hindu and you were already married at the time of marriage. 

2. The fact that girl's side knew about this would be most material (if you have evidences to that effect) - in a way I'd tell you - you can threaten to implicate them if they try to extort you about this implication - you can tell them that you knew about it, and still went ahead - if I go down behind the bars in bigamy case I'd take you along as all of you are co-accused, as you intentionallly facilitated the commission of this offence knowing it to be an offence. This should set them right. 

3. You are as it is liable for bigamy as mentioned above, and sadly India signed an extradition treaty with Belgium way back in the 1950's which would facilitate your extradition here if the police moves in for it. 


Feel free to talk with complete facts !




Bharat Chugh


Adv.R.P.Chugh (Advocate/Legal Consultant (     17 May 2012

In addition to the above they can try implicating you in 498A/406 cases for dowry harassment - which is the most abused provision in India. Be on the watch for that !


Good Luck !

Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

There are many terrorists and hard criminals who could not be extradicted,in this case do you think that the country will extradict a person for bigamy as in other countries this is dealt in family court.Also a foreign country does not recognize a temple marriage till its not registered then how can the Indian police initiate extradiction ?

Also as dowry is not recognised outside India so 498a cannot be used to extradict.

Adv.R.P.Chugh (Advocate/Legal Consultant (     17 May 2012

I understand that extradition always requires DOUBLE CRIMINALITY - the act/ommission should be criminal/culpable in both the countries - the country of crime and the country which seeks extradition. But anyone who knows anything about extradition would tell you that all the necessary conditions are not required to be in duplicate in both the countries. The chances are very bleak, but never ever one shoud take chances with this :- In my view :

i) Torture for Dowry is not an offence in Belgium - but 498A is not all about cruelty for dowry - it includes cruelty simplicitor as well, and Belgium is sure to have a domestic violence law - which includes mental cruelty - so you've got it covered there ;

ii) on the count of bigamy - a look at Belgian laws would come handy to you. 


Hope this helps !

Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

In India unless the marriage is registered under law it is not legalised.

Also as per the Hindu marriage act one of the reason for marriage annulment is "Either spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage in question"
In this case when my marriage itself is VOID then how can one file a case of bigamy or 498a when the law itself says its VOID ?

Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

Also  Hindu Marriage Act 1955 is only applicable when the marriage is registered under this act but only a temple marriage with some video and photo proof will really make the marriage valid ?

None of the foreign embassies recognize a temple marriage and they only recognize a marriage is registered and duly attested by MEA then how can one really go ahead with the case of bigamy ?

Vishwa (translator)     17 May 2012

As far as my knowledge goes, limited as it is, it is the Belgian wife who can take criminal action against you because she is the aggrieved party.

The Indian wife can claim at the most that you cheated her (section 420 etc) by hiding the first marriage from her but this has to be proven.

it may be argued that it is the duty of both parties to verify that there is no prior marriage that is a bar to the one being performed.

Criminal prosecution for bigamy is relatively rare as you can judge from searching the archives of this form.

People in this forum do not hesitate to give advice even if they are not sure, in fact they do not care really what happens to you, they are only trolling for clients.

Bon courage


Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

If Hindu marriages are expected to continue throughout the lifetime of the spouses then there should be no divorce for Hindus.

Here they have mentioned a PARTY which means he/she is not yet a spouse.Now again it mentions that a spouse who has contracted and in this case there is no contract agreed as the marriage is not registered.In a temple marriage its a ceremony whereas in a registry office one fills out the form in which its mentioned that they agree for marriage and till that contract is signed by both parties they are not legally husband and wife even if the society considers them as married couples.
Now whom you consider the wronged spouse?
The word WHOEVER refers to whom ? The marriage itself is VOID and its written SHALL be punished and not WILL be punished,also the reason to be punished is because the marriage taking place for which both parties are responsible and needs punishment.

Vishwa (translator)     17 May 2012

As I said earlier, the current wife cannot file bigamy case against you because she is an accessory with you in the crime of bigamy. One cannot be accuser and criminal simultaneously. But the Belgian wife can file cases against both of you. However this is unlikely since she h as divorced you.

You would do best to take the advice of lawyers who have personally handled such bigamy cases.

Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

Thanks Vishwa for your advice.

I know that there are many false cases which could be filed against me like 498a,494,495,125 and many more by the lawyer of the so called my wife and her family.In this situation if i know for sure that if they are also equal party in this crime and if they also fear going behind bars then i can go for a mutual consent divorce.

Mukund (IMA)     17 May 2012

Where to file complaint under Bigamy law-section 494?
The person aggrieved can file a case of bigamy either in court or at the police station. The father of an aggrieved wife can also make a complaint under section 494/495 of the Indian Penal Code. A petition for declaring the second marriage as void can be filed by the parties of second marriage and not the first spouse.

Proof not required for for lodging complaints under Bigamy law
The Supreme Court has held that  while lodging a criminal complaint it is not necessary for the aggrieved party to prove that marriage ceremonies were performed as it is for the trial court to decide the veracity of the allegations

If person hides first marriage and contacts second marriage ?
Complaint for cheating can be filed under section 415 of IPC in case the person hides the fact of first marriage.

What is Punishment under the Act?
Bigamy is a non-cognizable offence. It is bailable and compoundable with the permission of court if the offence is committed under section 494 of the IPC. The punishment for bigamy is imprisonment, which may extend till 7 years or fine or both. In case the person charged of bigamy has performed the second marriage by hiding the fact of first marriage, then he shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 10 years or fine or both. Such offence under section 495 is not compoundable.

Now my question is who can file to declare the marriage as void ? In this above case who is aggrieved wife the Belgian or Indian ? Is it possible to prove in court who was hiding the fact ?

Vishwa (translator)     18 May 2012

Good show, Mukund, you have done your work.

To the best of my knowledge, the jurisdication for matrimonial matters is either the place of marriage or the place of matrimonial home.

The victim in your case is obviously the Belgian lady because the Indian lady has you in her thrall to provide for her all her life.

Bonne continuation


Mukund (IMA)     18 May 2012

Thanks Vishwa for your response.

I find it really strange that i received contradictory response from different lawyers which means either our Indian law is not clear or the lawyers are not clear about the law.

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