Consent Of First Wife Does Not Make Second Marriage Legal

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The High Court of Patna comprising Justices Hemant Kumar Srivastava and Prabhat Kumar Singh held that the consent of the first wife does not give right to a man to solemnize second marriage during the lifetime of first wife.

The appellant was working as Assistant Sub Inspector in Central Reserve Police Force (C.R.P.F) at Imphal and had solemnized his second marriage with one, Sunita Upadhyay (who was working as a constable in C.R.P.F) during the subsistence of first marriage of the appellant. Departmental proceeding was initiated against the appellant on the complaint made by his first wife. The appellant was proved guilty and was dismissed from service by the order of the competent authority.

The appellant being aggrieved by the order of his dismissal preferred revision against the order, but his revision stood dismissed. The counsel for the appellant submitted that though the departmental proceeding was initiated on the complaint made by the first wife of the appellant eventually, in the course of the proceeding, the first wife of the appellant filed an affidavit mentioning that the appellant had solemnized his marriage with Sunita Upadhyay with her permission and consent.

 The court while dismissing the appeal after hearing both sides, said that even if it is presumed that the first wife of the appellant had given him consent for second marriage, such consent of the first wife of the appellant does not give right to appellant to solemnize second marriage during the lifetime of the first wife under Hindu Marriage Act.

Source: Livelaw.com