Once awarded for ideal wedding; now jailed for bigamy

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Nagpur, Mar 6 (UNI) A man who was twice awarded for solemnising inter-caste marriage and without accepting any dowry has now been convicted for bigamy ie marrying a second time during the lifetime of his first wife and sentenced to 3-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 by a trial court in Buldhana district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

The District Session Judge, while finding Vijay Narayan Jadhav guilty, however, acquitted the other three accused -- Jadhav's parents and his first wife.

Acording to the prosecution, Jadhav had solemnised a court marriage with Kavita Chavan, a resident of Aurangabad, in June 2002. He had then received an award for not accepting any dowry.

Later, Jadhav contracted a second court marriage with Seema Pralhad Shetye, a resident of Buldhana, in February 2003. Shortly afterwards, he received an award for inter-caste marriage, the prosecution said.

Jadhav hid the fact that he was already married from Seema and her family. Shortly after marriage, Jadhav's parents began harassing Seema for dowry, and even withdrew Rs 50,000 from her bank account.

When Jadhav's first marriage came to Seema's knowledge she lodged a complaint with Buldhana police.

The police have registered a case against Jadhav, his parents Narayan and Asha, and his first wife Kavita, under sections 494 (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife), 495 (concealment of former marriage from person), 496 (marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage), 498 (A) (subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Police have already examined seven witnesses during the trial.

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