J.M.L. Sinha, J.
1. In this appeal by special leave the appellant challenges the judgment and order dated 4th November, 1968 passed by Judicial Magistrate. Dehradun acquitting the respondents of the offence under Section 494, I.P.C
2. The facts relevant to the case can briefly be stated as under:
Smt. Asghari respondent No. 1 was previously married to Abdul Hamid, hereafter to be called the appellant. It is alleged that Jafar. respondent No. 2, who happened to be the father of respondent No. 1, used to borrow money from the appellant from time to time but did not repay the same. About one and half years prior to the filing of the complaint the appellant asked for the repayment of the money. This caused offence to the respondent No, 2 and consequently he sent for respondent No. 1 through one Fateh on the pretext that the respondent No. 1 should celebrate Shabi-Barat festival at her father's house. Thereafter the respondent No. 2 did not send respondent No. 1 to the appellant's house despite repeated requests and. on 5th April, 68. Smt. Asghari respondent No. 1 was remarried to Mahboob respondent No. 3. Nisar Ahmad respondent No. 4 functioned as Qazi on the occasion of the said marriage and Jafar and Haider Bux functioned as witnesses. On these allegations Abdul Hamid filed a complaint for the prosecution of the respondents for the offence under Section 494, I.P.C.
3. Respondent No. 1 during her examination in the trial Court, inter alia, stated that her marriage with the appellant had been dissolved and it was thereafter that her remarriage took place on 8th April, 68. Mahboob respondent also made a similar statement during his examination. The other respondents merely denied the prosecution case.
The trial Court on a consideration of the evidence adduced in the case accepted the defence plea that the marriage of respondent No. 1 with the appellant had been dissolved before she was remarried to respondent No. 3. In consequence of this conclusion the trial Court acquitted all the respondents. It is against that order that the present appeal is directed.
4. After having heard learned Counsel for both the parties I find that this appeal must fail on a different point.
In case Bhau Rao v. State of Maharashtra : 1965CriLJ544 it has been held that that marriage to which Section 494, IPC applies should be celebrated with proper ceremonies and in due form. It was further observed in that case that merely going through certain ceremonies with the intention that the parties be taken to be married will not make the ceremonies prescribed by law or approved by any established custom. In case Kanwal Ram v. Himachal Pradesh Administration : 1966CriLJ472 the same view was again reiterated. The matter again came up for consideration before the Supreme Court in case Smt. Priya Bala Ghosh v. Such Chand Ghosh. AIR 1971/ SC 1153 -(1971 Cri LJ 939) and the same view was expressed therein. In the last two cases it was also observed that the prosecution must prove as a fact that the essential ceremonies of a marriage have been performed.
5. It is true that in all the three cases referred earlier the parties were Hindus. However, the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in the aforesaid cases should apply equally to a Muslim marriage, for, the Mohammadan Law also prescribes some ceremonies as essential to the solemnisation of a marriage. Reference in this connection can be made to Section 252 of Mullas Principles of Mohammadan Law. It) states that it is essential to the validity of a marriage that there should be a, proposal made by or on behalf of one of the parties to the marriage and an acceptance of. the proposal by or on behalf of the other, in presence and hearing of two male or one male and two female witnesses who must be sane and1 adult Mohammadan. In Section 254 it has been stated that a marriage contracted without witnesses as required by Section 252 is irregular, but not void. A joint reading of Sections 252 and 254 of the Mohammadan Law therefore leads to this conclusion that it is essential to the validity of a marriage that there should be a proposal made by or on behalf of one of the parties to the marriage and an acceptance to the proposal by or on behalf of the other. It is1 this ceremony, the non-performance of which will render a marriage void. As already stated the omission to have witnesses to the marriage will only render a marriage irregular end not void.
In the instant case therefore it was necessary for the appellant to prove that the essentials referred to in the first part of Section 252 of the Mohammadan Law had been performed when the alleged marriage between respondent No. 2 and respondent No. 3 took place.
6. The appellants besides examining himself further examined Fateh Mohammad P.W. 2, Din Mohammad P.W. 3. Ghulam Mohammad P.W. 4 and Barkat Ali P.W. 5. Out of the aforesaid witnesses it is only Din Mohammad (P.W. 3) who gave evidence of the second marriage. In his examination-in-chief no doubt he stated that the marriage of the respondent No. 2 and, respondent No. 3 took place on 6th April, 68 at 8 or 8-30 A.M. at the house of Jafar. Din Mohammad however did not say that any proposal was made by or on behalf of respondent No. 3 and that any acceptance was made of the proposal by or on behalf of respondent No. 2. The evidence of Din Mohammad P.W. 3 therefore fails to prove that the essentials of a Muslim marriage had been performed when the alleged second marriage of respondent No. 2 with respondent No. 3 took place. In fact Din Mohammad admitted in cross-examination that when the marriage of respondent No. 2 with respondent No. 3 took place he was not even present in the house in which the marriage took place but was In another house. He could not therefore have witnessed the ceremonies performed nor could he depose about the same.
Once the evidence of Din Mohammad P.W. 3 is excluded from consideration for the reason already stated, there remains not an iota of evidence in proof of the fact that the essentials of a1 Muslim marriage had been performed when the alleged marriage between respondents Nos. 2 and 3 took place.
7. A reference may be made at this stage to para 268 of Mulla's Mohammadan Law. The relevant part thereof can be extracted thus:
Marriage will be presumed, in the absence of direct proof, from-
(c) The fact of the acknowledgement by the man of the woman as his wife.
learned Counsel for the appellant urged that Mahboob respondent No. 3 during his examination in the trial Court stated:Main ne talaq ke bad Mst. Asgharl se shadi 8 April 68 ko Inamul Rahman Building men ki thi.
learned Counsel for the appellant urged that this statement made by Mahboob Is an admission of his marriage with Smt. Asghari and that by itself should be accepted to be sufficient proof in that regard. It was further urged that the admission should also act as acknowledgement of marriage referred to in Section 268 and. with that acknowledgement existing on record, it should be presumed that the marriage between respondents Nos. 2 and 3 was performed in a valid manner. There is more than one reason for which this contention cannot be accepted.
8. In the case of : 1966CriLJ472 (supra) also there wais an admission of one of the parties to the second marriage, regarding second marriage having taken place. After making a reference to a number of decisions the Supreme Court held that in a bi-j gamy case the second marriage i.e. to say the ceremonies constituting it, must be proved and further that admission of marriage by the accused is not evidence of it for the purpose of proving marriage in any adultery and bigamy ease. The Supreme Court therefore refused to place reliance on the admission of this accused persons made in that regard,' Again, in the case AIR 1971 SC 1153 : (1971 Cri LJ 939) (supra) reference was made to an admission of one of the parties in regard to the second marriage. After making a reference to the case of : 1966CriLJ472 (supra) the court held that an admission is not evidence of the fact that the second marriage had taken place after the ceremonies constituting the same had been gone through. It was urged before the Supreme Court that admissions made by a party are substantive evidence by themselves in view of Sections 17 and 21 of the Evidence Act and reliance was placed for that argument on the decision of the Supreme Court in case Bharat Singh v. Bhagirathi. : 1SCR606 . The argument was repelled with the observation :
We do not think that the said decision in any way supports the appellant with regard to prosecution for bigamy under Section 494, IPC
It will thus appear that it is now well settled that in cases of bigamy the fact that marriage has been solemnised in accordance with and after performance of the necessary rites has to be proved by the prosecution as a fact and any admission made by the accused in that regard cannot constitute evidence of that fact. Since in the instant case there is no evidence in proof of the fact that the essentials referred to in Section 252 of Mulla's Mohammadan Law were complied with when the alleged marriage between respondents 2 and 3 took place it cannot be held that the second marriage was duly proved.
9. As for the acknowledgement referred to in Section 268 of Mulla's Mohammadan Law. a perusal thereof would show that it can be invoked only where direct proof is absent In the instant case it cannot be said that the direct proof Was absent. All that can be said is that the direct proof was not adduced. I do not think when the direct proof is available and a party defaults in producing that direct proof, he can invoke ;the aid of Section 268 to contend that a presumption may be drawn on the basis of any acknowledgement of the husband or wife that a valid marriage had taken place.
That apart even for that acknowledgement the appellant seeks to place reliance on the admission made by respondent No. 3 during his examination in the trial Court. But as has been held by the Supreme Court, in cases of bigamy such statement cannot constitute evidence of the fact that the marriage has been performed and in a valid manner. For this reason too the appellant) cannot invoke the aid of Section 268 of the Mohammadan Law for proving the factum of second marriage.
Since the solemnisation of the second marriage was not proved in the Instant case as required by law. the court below committed no error in acquitting the respondents.
10. This appeal therefore calls for no interference and is accordingly dismissed.