- Bigamy is the condition of having two wives or two husbands at the same time.
- Bigamy includes polygamy (the female has more than one husband), and Polyandry (the female to have more than one husband)
- Monogamy means that one is permitted to have one wife or one husband at a time.
- Section 5(i) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 prohibits bigamy.
- Section 11 of the Hindu marriage act 1955 makes it void.
- Section 17 of the Hindu marriage act makes it a penalty offence for Hindu males and females under sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code.
- Section 494: punished with imprisonment, which may be extending to seven years and fine.
- Section 495: imprisonment for ten years and fine.
- A suit for Perpetual injunction by one spouse against the other can be filed under section 9 of CPC r/ w section 38 specific relief act 1963.
Should bigamy be permitted in some limited cases
- The term lex- loci are being applied in those cases.
- In Goa, Daman and Diu, under Portuguese rule, a Hindu husband was permitted to take a second wife in some circumstances with the first wife’s permission. That continues to be the law on those territories.
Right of the second wife
- She has no status as a wife.
- She can claim or file a petition for nullity of her marriage under section 11.
- She can claim interim or permanent maintenance.