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Report No. 42

189. Substitution of new section for sections 494 and 495.-

For sections 494 and 495 of the Code, the following sections shall be substituted, namely.-

"494. Bigamy.- Whoever, being married, contracts another marriage in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the subsistence of the earlier marriage, commits bigamy.

Explanation.- Where a marriage has been dissolved by the decree of a competent court under an enactment but the parties are, by virtue of a provision of the enactment under which their marriage is dissolved, prohibited from re-marrying within a specified period, then, for the purposes of this section, the marriage shall, notwithstanding its dissolution, be deemed to subsist during that period.

Exception.- The offence is not committed by any person who contracts the later marriage during the life of the spouse by earlier marriage, if, at the time of the later marriage such spouse shall have been continually absent from such person for seven years and shall not, within that period, have been heard of by such person as being alive, provided the person contracting the later marriage informs the person with whom it is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge.

495. Punishment for bigamy.- Whoever commits bigamy shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

(2) Whoever commits bigamy, having concealed, from the person with whom the later marriage is contracted the fact of the earlier marriage, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine."

190. Amendment of section 496.-

In section 496 of the Code, for the words "seven years", the words "three years" shall be substituted.



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