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Second marriage valid, even when first marriage divorce is still pending: SC

The Supreme Court has stated that the second marriage is not void even if a divorce appeal against the first marriage is pending. However, the Hindu Marriage Act provides that the second marriage shall be lawful only when the appeal for divorce against the first marriage is granted. The SC has explained that a marriage contracted when a case to dissolve the first marriage is pending will not be void on the grounds that it was contracted in an incapacity because the first marriage still exists. The Court has passed this order on an appeal filed by a man against a Delhi High Court order through which his second marriage was declared void. The dispute with his first wife was settled and an application for accepting the divorce and for seeking withdrawal of the petition had been filed by the man in the HC. However, the man got married again just 2 weeks before a formal order was passed by the HC. The second marriage of the man was also not joyous due to which his second wife approached the HC saying that their marriage is not valid as it was contracted while the divorce case of his first marriage was still pending. The HC upheld her contention and passed an order in her favor which was challenged by the man in the SC. The SC, while setting aside the HC order, has stated that an act is prohibited by the law without accounting for the outcome of its breach. It has stated that declaring the marriage void can have far-reaching consequences which can also affect the children involved in the marriage.

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