(2) At the date of marriage either party has a spouse living.
It further renders bigamy punishable as per Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.
Unless the marriage is performed with proper ceremonies and due form, it cannot be said to be solemnised. It is therefore, essential for the purpose of Section 17 of the Act, that the marriage to which Section 494, Indian Penal Code applies on account of the provisions of the Act should have been celebrated with proper ceremonies and due form.
Once these ceremonies are proved to have been performed the marriage becomes properly solemnised and if contracted while the first marriage is still subsisting the provision of Section 494 I.P.C. will apply automatically.
In Lily Thomas v. Union of India, a Hindu wife filed a complaint, that her husband had married a second wife under some other religion, after converting to that religion, the offence of bigamy pleaded by her would have to be investigated and tried in accordance with the provisions of the Marriage Act.
In this case the Supreme Court observed, that since under the Hindu Marriage Act a bigamous marriage solemnised by the husband during the subsistence of that marriage in spite of his conversion to another religion would be an offence triable under Section 17 of the Hindu Marriage Act.