To convict for Bigamy, the second Marriage should be Valid

For bigamy the second marriage must be conducted

In order to convict a person on the charge of bigamy, the second marriage performed must be with the ceremonies required for solemnization of marriage as per the Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA), the High Court of Kerala says in Rajagopalan Nair v State of Kerala.

The offence of bigamy charged under Section 17 of HMA and Section 494 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).

To charge the offence second marriage should be proved

For conviction on the charge of bigamy, the performance of the second marriage in customary rights and ceremonies must be proved in the court by specific evidence, even though the second marriage is not valid under the law.

The vital features of the ceremonies must be proved so as to convince the court that it was an act of solemnization of second marriage.

Marriage certificate is only a prima facie proof

If a marriage certificate of the second marriage is produced, that is prima facia a valid piece of evidence to prove that the second marriage is conducted in the proper manner as the law stipulates.

However, omission to register the marriage and make an entry in the record will not affect the validity of the conduct of marriage.

That means, solemnization or conduct of ceremonies under Section 7 of the HMA make a Hindu marriage valid. But valid marriage certificate is only a prima facie proof of it.


  1. Rajagopalan Nair v State of Kerala
  2. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955