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30 Years On, SC Orders Man to Compensate First Wife or Go to Jail for Polygamy

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Uday U Lalit noted that the second marriage had taken place in 1987 and thus, payment of fine amount to the first wife would meet the ends of justice.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:June 3, 2018, 3:20 PM IST
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30 Years On, SC Orders Man to Compensate First Wife or Go to Jail for Polygamy
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com
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New Delhi: Thirty years on, a man has been asked to either pay damages of Rs 1 lakh to his first wife or spend two years in jail for marrying the second time. Incidentally, the second wife is no more.

The Supreme Court has directed the man from Rajasthan to shell out a fine of Rs 1 lakh to ward off the jail term after he was convicted under Section 494 (polygamy) of the IPC.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Uday U Lalit noted that the second marriage had taken place in 1987 and thus, payment of fine amount to the first wife would meet the ends of justice.

The man and his second wife were sentenced to two years in jail by the trial court. But the High Court in 2015 let them off following a 48-day incarceration.

The first wife moved the Supreme Court in appeal and argued that the punishment was too less for the crime committed by her husband and his second wife. While the appeal remained pending since 2016, the second wife of the accused also died.

When the matter came up for final hearing before the apex court bench, it noted that three decades had elapsed since the crime in question took place. Besides, the man had three children from his second wedlock.

The bench then affirmed the High Court order of reducing the jail term but added a further condition.

"We deem it appropriate to impose additional sentence of fine of Rs 1 lakh which shall be paid by the accused to his first wife within three months from the date of this order failing which the substantive sentence of two years’ rigorous imprisonment, as awarded by the trial court, shall stand resorted," stated the court order issued recently.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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