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The Burden of Proof on the appellant to prove Bigamy- MP High Court

-Report by Avinash Pandey

In the case of Kailash Vs. Gordhan was presented before the Madhya Pradesh High Court challenging the legality of the first marriage and proving the second marriage was not illegal under the Indian Laws. The judgment of the Judicial First-Class Magistrate was challenged who had dismissed the appeal after allowing appeals from both sides and cross-examining all the evidences produced, the charges applied in this case were under Section 494 and Section 143
of the Indian Penal Code. The case was then presented before Justice Ani Verma at the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

In this case, the petitioner had rightfully completed his marriage with the respondent, but after some time the respondent, in this case, had committed to a second marriage while she had not obtained a divorce. After the Judicial First Class had acquitted all the respondents from the following case, the petitioner filed a criminal plea before the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The petitioner had contested before the court that the second marriage by the respondent was illegal and the court was confronted with the argument that was the second marriage a valid marriage under the law and if not was the offense punishable under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code for remarriage while still being committed to one prior. The court in its judgment had initially defined the pointers that are important for a crime to be considered under Section 494 of IPC.

Considering the facts of the above case, the court held that the respondent had denied the marriage with the petitioner initially under Section 313 of the CRPC. The court observed that the need to prove the legality in front of the court was on the appellant, yet he had failed to discharge the burden on him. The court said that no proof or document was presented by the appellant to stand that the marriage between the petitioner and respondent was a legal Hindu marriage following all the rituals.

The court while acquitting the respondents from the following appeal had stated that the burden of proof was on the petitioner to provide relevant documents which will show that the first marriage and the second marriage were not legal which they have failed to do and hence the appeal was dismissed and the respondents were rightfully released from the case.

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