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How can I get a copy of divorce decree?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

23/01/2022

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Question: How can I get a copy of divorce decree? What should I do if my husband has solemnised second marriage? I have been living separately from my husband for two years. He has solemnised a second marriage and is living with that lady. When I knew about it I reached my matrimonial home at Bengaluru. My Husband told me that our marriage has been dissolved by the court. He said that he has the divorce decree. When I asked to provide a copy of the decree then he refused. 

Asked from: Karnataka

It seems from the facts of your case that your husband is telling a lie. Court cannot pass a decree without serving a notice to the defendant. Notice is an intimation about the filing of a case. It also gives an opportunity to the defendant to file a written statement, thereby countering the case of the plaintiff. 

You have no information about the divorce decree because you have not received any notice from the court. More importantly, your husband did not provide you with a copy of that decree. It resembles that he has not filed any divorce case against you. Since, he has no divorce decree therefore, he failed to produce it when you demanded from him. 

How can I get a copy of divorce decree?

If you believe that your husband is telling the truth then you should approach the district court to get a copy of divorce decree. You should file a questionnaire in the concerned family court. In that questionnaire you should ask from the court whether any divorce decree has passed against you. Give personal details of both parties such as name, address etc in that questionnaire. 

The court will search its records thereafter, it’ll answer your question. If the court provides you the details of the case then you should apply for the certified copy of that decree. The court will provide the certified copy of its judgement or decree upon receiving application along with requisite fee thereof.

When the court informs you that no such case has been filed, it proves that your marriage is still existing. Your husband’s second marriage is void. You are still a legally wedded wife. 

According to Section 5  and Section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act [HMA], a marriage becomes void if either party has a spouse living on the date of marriage. Section 17 HMA renders such a void marriage as a punishable act. 

Any marriage between two Hindus solemnised after the commencement of this Act is void if at the date of such marriage either party had a husband or wife living; and the provisions of sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, shall apply accordingly.

Section 17 , the Hindu Marriage Act 1955

What should I do if my husband has solemnised second marriage?

You should initiate a criminal proceeding against your husband if he has solemnised the second marriage without divorcing the first one. In this situation, the second marriages becomes void and your husband has committed the offence of bigamy. Bigamy is punishable under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.

Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 494, Indian Penal Code

You should file a complaint to the concerned Judicial Magistrate’s court under Section 200 of the code of criminal procedure. This is a complaint case hence, you cannot lodge FIR (First Information Report). You can file such a complaint in Bangaluru or where you are currently living. Both places have territorial jurisdiction. You can choose any one of them.

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

Practising lawyer in the High Court Lucknow. You can consult on Criminal, Civil, Matrimonial, Writ, Service matters, Property, Revenue and RERA related issues.

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