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Can departmental inquiry proceed against me for bigamy?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

Online advising since Oct. 2014

Service & Labour

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Question: I have solemnised a second marriage in the subsistence of the first. It was because I have no children from the first marriage. Second marriage is prohibited in Hindus so I am afraid that the departmental inquiry may proceed against me for the bigamy. 

My wife will not make any complaint against the solemnisation of a second marriage. But it may be possible that any colleague may complain about the second marriage. I cannot hide this fact because of a social gathering in my marriage ceremony. Can the department initiate disciplinary proceedings devoid of any criminal case? 

I am trying to manage my family members and members of my in-law’s family to refrain from lodging any complaint against me. What is the legal remedy in this situation? Please help. 

Asked from: Karnataka

You have committed the offence of bigamy hence, it is a grould for initiation of departmental inquiry. Rule 28 of the Karnataka Civil Service Rules, forbids a government servant to solemnise second marriage without the permission of the Government. Your first marriage is subsisting at the time of solemnisation of the second marriage. Hence, you could not get permission from the Government.

In this situation if the government receives a complaint about the breach of Rule 28, then certainly a departmental inquiry may be set up against you. Your wife can file a complaint under Section 200 crpc for the offence of bigamy. If nobody complains then you may absolve yourself. 

The departmental inquiry does not lay upon the initiation of a criminal case. If no criminal proceeding is initiated against you for the offence of bigamy it does not mean that the department cannot launch disciplinary proceeding for the bigamy. 

Acquittal in a criminal case also does not bar the departmental inquiry for bigamy. Standards of proof are entirely different in the criminal trial and disciplinary proceeding. Being a Hindu, you could never have been granted permission by the Government to marry a second time because of your personal law forbidding such marriage i.e. bigamy.   

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

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