Decided on January 30,1958

Haisnam Baruniton Singh Appellant
Thokchom Ningol Haisnam Ongbi Bhani Devi And Ors. Respondents


J.N. Datta, J.C. - (1.)THIS is a some what unusual application under Section 561 -A of the Cr. P. Code for quashing the proceedings under Section 494 IPC that are going against the applicant and some others in the court of the Magistrate, at the instance of his first wife the complainant,
(2.)IT is an admitted fact that the complainant Thokcho Ningol Haisnam Ongbi Bhani Devi was legally married to the applicant, the main accused, in 1952. The applicant, who is an Assistant Engineer in the PWD of the Manipur Administration, again married in 1956, Thounaojam Ningol Haisnam Ongbi Ibechaobi Devi, one of the accused in the criminal case, which led to the institution of the above -mentioned prosecution.
According to the applicant, he had divorced the complainant according to the prevailing custom in 1954 and if that is proved, and found to be a valid divorce, then admittedly he committed no offence when he married the other lady in 1956. I mention it incidentally only, but we are not concerned with that question in this application, because by this application the contention raised on behalf of the applicant, is that even if the first marriage subsisted and subsists he has not committed any offence in contracting the second marriage.

We all know that under the personal law of the Hindus, which the parties admittedly are, there was no limit to the number of lawfully married wives a Hindu could have. We equally well know that this state of things was put an end to in 1955 by the enactment of the Hindu Marriage Act (Act go. Order 1955). The relevant part of Section 5 of that Act runs as follows:

5. Conditions for a Hindu marriage - -A marriage may be solemnised between any two Hindus, if the Following conditions are fulfilled, namely:

(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;


x x x

(3.)ATTENTION may also be drawn to Section 4 of the Act, which abrogated the old law personal or otherwise or custom or usage, which was in force in the past, but is inconsistent with the provisions of the said Act.

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