Bigamy cloud over marriage sealed with Facebook status update

  • Deepak Mahato, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Aug 07, 2014 07:25 IST

Marriages, they say, are made in heaven. And the union sealed on Facebook.

But a "status update" on the popular networking site has only thrown up a bigger dilemma for Jharkhand police though it solved two "abduction" cases for them.

BJP MLA Ramchandra Baitha's son Chandan changed his Facebook profile status to "married" and also posted photographs with his newly-wed wife, the same girl he and his father were accused of abducting on July 29.

Police investigations revealed that the Facebook update was made on August 1, two days before the girl's father lodged the abduction complaint against the Kanke MLA and his son on August 3.

The same night, the MLA had also lodged a counter-complaint against the girl's father Shiv Kumar Mahto and six others, accusing them of kidnapping his son.

After the couple made their marital status public, the MLA merely said, "What's wrong in it if they got married."

The father of the girl – a college student - refused to comment.

Kanke police station officer in-charge Saryu Anand said that they would have to "follow procedure" and take the cases to their logical conclusion.

"We will produce the girl in court for her statement. She will also be sent for medical examination," Anand added.

However, the bigger problem for the police comes from the fact that the MLA's son is a much married man, having tied the knot twice earlier and allegedly separating from his two wives without formally divorcing any one of them.

Chandan allegedly deserted his first wife within a week of marriage and the second wife after a few years. He has two children from his second marriage.

Police said that Chandan and the third wife had earlier eloped two months ago but were brought back by their respective families.

Then, too, "missing" complaints were lodged by both the families but the love-struck couple managed to flee from home and elope once again, police said.

Ranchi civil court advocate Vidyut Chaurasia said Chandan could land in legal trouble on charges of bigamy and adultery.

"If he has not divorced his first wife, his subsequent marriages will be declared null and void," Chaurasia said, adding, "his first wife can lodge a complaint of adultery against her husband and the girl."

Ranchi superintendent of police (rural) SK Jha said they were seized of the complications in the case.

"We are looking into the matter. Once we complete our investigation appropriate action will be taken," he added.

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