Bench of JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR, S.A.BOBDE JJ., of the Supreme Court of India, while considering the question as to whether the respondent husband has committed an offence under Section 493 and 494 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, held that, Section 493 of Indian Penal Code will not be attracted, if an ex-parte divorce decree is set aside.
In the instant case, where an ex-parte divorce decree was obtained, and in spite of the fact that, both the parties to the present case continued to live together. However, on a subsequent order, theex-parte divorce decree was set aside.
However, in the present case of the appellant, it was contented by the appellant that, the respondent, husband did not inform her about the divorce decree and continued the conjugal relationship. Subsequently, the respondent married to another person, therefore, it is contented that, the respondent committed the offence under Section 493 and 494 of the Indian Penal Code.
Then she came to know about the ex-parte divorce decree and subsequently the appellant of the present case filed an application for setting aside said ex-parte divorce decree, and the same was allowed. Hence, the court in this case observed that, in sum and substance, therefore, thematrimonial ties between the appellant and the respondent came to be restored, as if the marital relationship had never ceased.
On the ground of above mentioned findings the apex court opined that, the respondent husband could not have deceived the appellant of the existence of a “lawful marriage”, when a lawful marriage indeed existed between the parties, during the period under reference, and held that the charge against the respondent of the present case is not made out, under Section 493 and 494 of the Indian Penal Code.
Read full judgement on Ravinder Kaur v. Anil Kumar (09-04-2015, Supreme Court)