Section 496 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!

The section contemplates dishonest or fraudulent intention on the part of the offender. With such intention the offender must go through the ceremony of being married. While doing so the offender must have knowledge that he or she, as the case may be, is not thereby lawfully married.

The penalty under this section is the same as that under section 494 for bigamy. Mock marriage, or a show of marriage, with dishonest or fraudulent intention where the offender knows that no lawful marriage has taken place has been punished by the section.

Where in a case under this section the trial had gone for about seven long years, the accused had become insolvent as a result of the same, considerable mental agony was caused to him during all these years, the first wife who was the real aggrieved party had passed away and the second wife had to bear a lot of suffering during these years without any fault on her part, it was held that the sentence already undergone by him was sufficient punishment to him.

The offence under this section is non-cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by magistrate of the first class.

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