Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bigamy is an offence – does it apply to Karunanidhi also?

The Madras High Court has reiterated the already existing provision of Law that bigamy is an offence. The one accused of this offence can not hold an office in the Government. In its judgment delivered a couple of days ago, the court has held that even if the second marriage is done with the consent of the first wife, it will be treated as an offence attracting punishment. In the case of government servants, this disqualifies the offender from holding the government job.

My question is – does this apply to everyone including the Chief Minister Karunanidhi or only to ordinary citizens?

Or will he say that this law does not apply to him as he had a 'self-respect marriage' and not a Hindu marriage?

Does it then mean that it is a live-in-relationship?

Even if it is so, this does not satisfy the legalities of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on 21st October 2010.

The law says something but we have rulers who are first rate defaulters of the Law and yet manage to be out of the reach of Law.

What a people we are allowing such ones to run the country!

PS: For astrology enthusiasts:-My astrological article on live-in-relationship can be read here:

- jayasree





Bigamy criminal offence, says court

March 14: The Madras high court has held that even with the consent of the first wife, a marriage among persons covered by Hindu law was a criminal offence under the IPC and a misconduct under the Tamil Nadu Government Servants' Conduct Rules. Justice K. Chandru, however, on the ground of discrimination, set aside the order of the state government removing K. Rajeswari from service for marrying Thankavelu, a government servant, who was already married.

Mr Thankavelu was also compulsorily retired from service following disciplinary action but was subsequently reinstated as per the order of the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). Allowing the petition filed by Ms Rajeswari, the judge said since the authorities have not indicated any special reason for treating the petitioner for a different treatment, except by stating that the husband and wife worked in two different departments, the impugned order has to necessarily be set aside.

However, referring to the contention that the consent of the first wife was obtained, he said, "Even with the consent of the first wife, a marriage among persons covered by Hindu law is a criminal offence under section 494 of IPC as well as a misconduct under Rule 19 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Government Servants' Conduct Rules." The judge also observed that even a government servant whose personal law permits polygamous marriages cannot marry more than once without the permission of the government as it will be violating conduct rules.

Ms Rajeswari joined the government health department in Salem in 1982 and married Mr Thankavelu, assistant in the department of treasuries and accounts, with the consent of the first wife in 1990. The government then retired Mr Thankavelu compulsorily but reinstated him after SAT set aside the order in 1995. Subsequently, Ms Rajeswari was removed from service in 2000.
She challenged the order before the tribunal and since the tribunal was abolished, the matter was transferred to the HC.

The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1964 provide that a person who has contracted a bigamous marriage or has married a person having a spouse living shall not be eligible for appointment to such services – Rule 21. The All India Services (Conduct) Rules 1968 place the same restrictions on those who are already member of any such service – Rule 19. Both the Rules, however, empower the government to exempt a person from the application of these restrictions if the personal law applicable permits the desired marriage and "there are other grounds for so doing."

These provisions of Service Rules apply to the Muslims and their constitutional validity has been upheld by the Central Administrative Tribunal and the courts. See, e.g., Khaizar Basha v Indian Airlines Corporation, New Delhi AIR 1984 Mad 379 [relating to a similar provisionfound in the Regulations framed under the Air Corporation Act 1953].

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