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  • Category: Indian Law

    Second Marriage Void Under prohibited degrees in marriage

    Having a query regarding going for a second marriage and want to know the technical hitches as per law? Our experts would guide you here about the consequences.

    My friend is married and his spouse is alive. But he loves his first cousin (Mother's Sister's Daughter) and wants to marry her without giving divorce to his first wife. I don't want to see him in trouble in future. I have told him several times that it is not possible and he could get punished for 5-7 years for bigamy but he says following

    "Marriage with first cousin in india is void from the date of marriage because of "prohibited degrees in marriage". So if he does marriage with his cousin then it means their marriage is automatically void (like never existed). Because second marriage doesn't exist from the date of marriage so he can not be punished for 5-7 years for a marriage that never existed. His first cousin already knows that he is married so he is not doing any fraud and can't get punishment for fraud. He can only be punished under "prohibited degrees in marriage" which is 1 month OR 1000 Rs. fine. "

    Is this true? Will indian law not punish him for 5-7 years because his second marriage will be automatically void (doesn't exist)? Can he be punished only for 1 month or Rs. 1000 fine under "prohibited degrees in marriage"?

    Please reply.

    Any help is truly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Answers

    5 Answers found.
  • In any case, having two wives and marrying second time when the first wife is alive is not legal if he belongs to Hindu community. But for the Muslim community, a male belonging to that community can have more than one wife. So the matter is to be clear before the issue. To which Community your friend belongs. Thinking that he is not a Muslim if the first wife accepts he can marry his cousin and there will not be any problem till no complaint. But it will lead to complications afterwards. It is better to take the consent of the first wife in writing before marrying the second one. Otherwise getting legally separated with the first wife before married again is a better idea. If the first wife complains that her husband is neglecting her and staying with his cousin will be a serious problem for him. But I don't understand why your friend married another girl when he wants to marry the cousin. It sounds bad. Why he should marry and spoil now the life of the first wife.

    always confident

  • There is absolutely no complication in this case. If your friend and his would-be second wife is non-Muslim, the second marriage is totally illegal and is definitely a punishable offence. Even if any neighbour or colleague of your firend sends an anonymous complaint, your friend and his would-be wife will be arrested and put behind bars.

    So, if your friend wants to marry for the second time, he has to divorce his first wife before the second marriage. Be very clear about it.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • I don't know the caste of your friend. It wont be not accepted. From the message details, there is no valid reason sound enough to even ask for a divorce from the first wife. I think you, being his friend should talk him out of this plan ( a suggestion only)

    One of the key statements that is applicable here is from the The Hindu marriage act 1955. Section:5 To solemnize a marriage between two Hindus, neither party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage legally.

    If the first marriage is still legal , the second wife can file a case against your friend on grounds of cheating and concealing the truth about the first marriage, which by itself will invite further legal problems.

    Even if the first wife agrees, it will still be bigamy in the eyes of law and even the consent of the first wife to help our friend also will not safeguard him.

    In the eyes of law,the second marriage would be illegal from the beginning and your friend can be held by the court of law if the first wife's parents or her family complains.

    There will be issues with legitimacy of the children from the second wife and property issues.

    Please encourage your friend to re-consider, if let him speak to a good lawyer as I do not see a strong valid reason to press for a divorce which would the first step towards your friend's plan for the second marriage.

  • It depends on the Religion of the man. It also depends whether he is a government servant or not. If he is a non-Muslim neither religion nor civil law allows bigamy-i.e a second marriage when the first marriage is existing. In that case he has to necessarily get a legal divorce. But it is not his pleasure only to get a divorce. The wife also has her rights in it.

    Now the second part: Here again,if he is a non-Muslim this is a prohibited marriage relationship .

    So if the man is a non-Muslim, he cannot marry a second woman without legally divorcing his first wife. But he cannot throw her arbitrarily because she also has her rights. The marriage with maternal side first cousin is totally ruled out also. The suggestion is let him re discover the pleasure and happiness in his existing marriage and spouse and live happily.

    Even if he is Muslim, if he is a government servant, if the service rules prohibit bigamy then he cannot marry another woman when the first marriage is existing.

  • Though there are different set of rules for different communities with respect to contract of marriages and supposing that your friend belongs to Hindu - community, his second contract of marriage would be illegal since bigamy in Hindu - community is not allowed. In this case, there may be some exception when the first wife declares that she can no longer conceive and for which she is having a medical documentation of a registered doctor or she is suffering from such a disease like heart - problem or otherwise where conception would lead to danger of the health. However, the facts have to be produced before the court so that you may be allowed for the second marriage.
    In absence of any health from of your wife, you cannot indulge in such contract.
    There are other angles as well which need to taken into account prior to such marriage. You may be blessed with kids from both the wives and in case of mismatch of thinking of your wives, home atmosphere would not remain conducive and certainly such development within the family would hamper mental growth of the kids and on account of this, you would remain dissatisfied.
    You should encourage your friend for the reconsideration of his stands citing several related examples.

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