Thursday, August 6, 2009

Men may not beat bigamy law

Remember Chandra Mohan, the then Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana. He is son of Bhajan Lal , abig gun in Congress political circles who disowned his son because he converted to Islam to marry another woman while his first wife is still alive. The lady love of Chandra Mohan is none other than a former legal luminary of Chandigarh, now named Fiza. The case of conversion to beat the bigamy law created a furore in both social and legal circles. Chandra Mohan who was renamed as Chand Mohammed had a change of heart once again , re-embraced the Hindu Dharma and got his Hindu name back. He is again known as Chandra Mohan.
For Fiza, who blew both hot and cold time and again, the paradise was lost. For her beau ideal it was a case of Paradise regained. He is back in the arms of his lawfully wedded wife and their children. Fiza had sworn love and hatred alternately for Chandra Mohan depending on the changing scenarioand the nuptial situation. Nevertheless, the case has shaken up the society in general and law makers as well as law interpreters in particular.
No less a legal body than the Law Commission took note of the aforesaid case and many similar unpublicised cases and went into the causes and effects. Such cases certainly cause social tensions. Men and women who are over sexed go in for marriage in a superficial way but the motive is out and out cohabitation for satisfying sexual desires. Thus the due process of law was taken for a ride. Hindu males who wished to have more than one living wife, forbidden under the Hindu Marriage Act,1955, underwent a superficial change of religion and assumed Muslim names to beat the bagamy law. Under Islam a male is permitted to have four living wives at the same time.
Justice Lakshamanan, chairman of the Law Commission, has recommended to the Government of India that the hindu Marriage Act be amended to discourage the phoney conversion for lust. Under the amended act the husband will not be permitted to solemnize a second marriage, irrespective of conversion to Islam, unless his first marriage is dissolved through due process of law. Everyone knows that the divorce proceedings under the Hindu Law take a lot of time and that will be the compulsory cooling period for the infatuated man, may be for woman too. Thus conversion for lust will be avoided and there will be no social tension either.
It is hoped that the amendment is couched in correct language to meet the test of time and also legal scrutiny in a court of law. It will be a regressive step otherwise Hindu males could be allowed to have more than one living wife under certain situations so that matrimonal love is not sacrificed at the altar of infatuation.

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