In a shocking case of cross-border ‘deception’, an Army Major had a complaint filed by his Afghan second ‘wife’who was deceived into marriage, and not informed of a first marriage.
The law clearly states that as long as a first marriage subsists under one personal law (i.e. Hindu), a person cannot get married under another personal law (i.e. Islam).
If the allegation is found to be true, the ‘Major’ is likely to be court-martialled, punished under bigamy laws and can face upto 5 years in a civilian jail as well.
The Supreme Court ruling is posted below for reference:
Feigned second marriages and Islam punishable as a crime
Supreme Court on feigned conversion to Islam and second marriage
A Supreme Court Bench consisting of Justice S. Saghir Ahmad and Justice R.P. Sethi passed a historic judgment on 5 May, 2000 which has almost given a death-blow to the phobia of the uniform civil code and has also sternly dealt with such persons who outwardly convert to Islam only for the purpose of contracting a second marriage thereby depriving the first wife of her legitimate, legal rights. [See 2000 Vol. 4 Scale page 176]
Army probing Afghan woman’s charge against doctor
30 Dec 2008
NEW DELHI: The Army has started probing charges made by an Afghan woman that a Major in the Army Medical Corps married her and then deserted her.
A day after Kabul resident Sabra Khan met Union home minister P Chidambaram in Delhi asking for permission to prosecute Major Chandrashekhar Pant, the Indian Army said that a probe has already been initiated into the charge.
“The matter is under investigation. Based on facts from the investigation, further action will be taken. If found guilty, law will take its own course against Major Pant,” director-general of medical services (Army) Lt-Gen NK Parmar said on Tuesday.
“The local police in Afghanistan could not have arrested Major Pant because they have no jurisdiction. The complaint has come through the ministry of external affairs and it is already in the knowledge of the Central Command,” Parmar said ahead of the 245th anniversary of the Army Medical Corps.
According to Sabra, she met Major Pant during his stint as a doctor at the Indira Gandhi Hospital run by the Indian diplomatic mission in Kabul where she worked as a translator.
“I was initially attached as a translator to another doctor, but Major Pant asked for my services. In time, he asked for my hand in marriage, but my parents refused on the ground that we were from different religions and he was much older than me,” she claimed.
Going against her parents’ wishes, Sabra said she married the Major.
“When he changed his religion to marry me, my parents thought he was truly committed,” said Sabra who is being supported by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union.
According to Sabra, after 15 days of living together, Major Pant told her he had to go to India on work and would return in a year’s time. When it became two years, Sabra decided to come to India to look for her husband. On landing in India, Sabra went to the Army Hospital in Pithoragarh where the Major is currently posted to find that he was already married and had two children, she said.