His three marriages in a row, all in shambles, make him a unique exception: court

A senior bureaucrat’s third marriage in a row by allegedly misrepresenting his age and marital status has led a Delhi court to wonder what made him rush into the marriage. The court also remarked that laws meant to protect women from harassment cannot be rendered useless and ineffective by men who are socially and financially influential.

The court was hearing the plea of a woman seeking cancellation of bail granted to the accused in 2010. She has accused the bureaucrat of marrying her after contacting her through a matrimonial website and hiding the fact that he was still married.

“It is said ‘once bitten, twice shy’, but the case of the accused is a unique exception. Three marriages in a row and all in shambles… It is this which makes me believe that perhaps not all is well with the accused, an educated and well-settled gentleman duly aware of the law of this land,” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.

“What is it that made him madly rush into a third relationship with a young lady, with whom he interacted on a matrimonial site by concealing his marital status? When I think about the complainant, I feel dismayed at seeing what her life has come to. A young women who had dreams of a good marriage shattered within days of her marriage when she realised that the person whom he trusted and married was already in an existing matrimonial relationship and there existed a big question mark on the legality of her own marriage with the accused...What the accused has done is both a legal and moral wrong, and cannot be condoned,” the court said.

The woman had alleged that the bureaucrat threatened her with dire consequences and even forced his previous wife not to depose against him. She told the court that the accused had misused his official position to file as many as 35 complaints against her. The court, however, stopped short of cancelling his bail considering the extreme consequences and hardships for his previous wife, who receives maintenance from the accused.

Warning him to treat the opportunity as a lifeline, the court told the accused not to delay the trial, surrender his passport and not to approach the complainant or the witnesses.

She told the court that they got married in 2008, after which he took her to his government accommodation in Mumbai. She soon discovered that he was married previously and had children. When she asked him about the same, she was thrown out of the house. She also alleged that he and his family kept the jewellery she brought with her during the marriage, and that when her family sought justice, he used “his official strength in getting Income Tax raids conducted to silence them”.

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