Home > Judiciary > ‘You’re not a doc, but a criminal guilty of bigamy’

‘You’re not a doc, but a criminal guilty of bigamy’

HC warns doctor who married second time without divorcing first wife that suo motu action can be taken against him


S Shyam Prasad

Posted On Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 10:41:52 PM


Dr Jahnavi Mishra (30) filed a habeas corpus for her missing four-year-old son, Gaurav, in the High Court of Karnataka on July 20. Acting on the court’s order, the police presented the child, along with his father, Dr Anuj Mishra, before the division bench of Justice N Ananda and Justice V Suri Appa Rao on Thursday. What followed was an embarrassing family drama which made a livid bench tell Arun, “You are not a doctor. You are a criminal…”

Jahnavi is from Bangalore and Anuj from Delhi. They met while both were practising in Libya, and tied the knot there in 2006. Returning to India a few weeks later, they married again at the Gandhinagar sub-registrar’s office in Bangalore.
After Gaurav’s birth in 2007, Jahnavi came to know Anuj had a first wife whom he had not divorced. The couple kept fighting for some time, and then, in 2009, they filed for separation. Later on, they reconciled and withdrew the case, and started living together in Bangalore.

Jahnavi went for higher education in the UK, leaving Gaurav with Anuj. She returned earlier this year, and the three started living together again.

But after a few months, on July 15, Anuj left home with Gaurav, leaving behind a note that said he was taking the child to Chennai. Jahnavi waited a few days expecting him to return, then moved the high court.

On Thursday, when Anuj and Gaurav were presented in the court by the police, Justice Ananda and Justice Appa Rao said that the child should be returned to Jahnavi. After ascertaining that the child’s age was four years and four months, the bench said, “We cannot go against the law. A mother is the best person to know what is good and what is bad for a child.”
Anuj’s counsel interrupted, alleging that Jahnavi had sent back the child three times. “The child was beaten up mercilessly. Her (Jahnavi’s) mother does not want him. She will send the child back again,” he said. The bench countered, “Do you mean to say she has no humanity? She will take care of the child as any mother would.”
Things get nastier
Anuj’s counsel told the court that Jahnavi had another child from a previous marriage. Jahnavi’s lawyer, H E Basavaraj, jumped into the fray, pointing out that Anuj too had married before and had a child from that marriage. Worse, he had not divorced his first wife before marrying Jahnavi.

Taken aback, the bench lashed out at Arun: “We do not understand this. What type of a combination is this? It was a joke for us, the American saying, ‘Your child and my child are playing with our child.’ Now, we are seeing it in front of our eyes in the courtroom. What is your lifestyle? You have committed bigamy. I wonder if you have even brought your first wife to court.”
First wife in court
It turned out that Anuj’s first wife, Bineeta, was present in the court. She came and stood next to Anuj, who was carrying Gaurav in his arms. Seeing her, the bench vented its ire on Anuj. “You have the audacity to bring your first wife to the court! You are not a doctor, you are a criminal. You should be tried under Section 494 for bigamy. Earlier, only the wife was allowed to file a bigamy case. Now anyone can. Suo motu action can be taken against you. Just because you are highly qualified does not mean you can do whatever you want in the society. Maybe, you have the potential to earn and take care of many, but you cannot go against the law of the land,” it said.

When Anuj’s counsel tried to interrupt and blame Jahnavi for the situation, the court said, “It is not just you and me who are watching this. The entire audience in the court is watching. We are confused. What sort of merits are you talking about?” Anuj’s first wife, Bineeta, tried to speak, but the bench stopped her, saying, “You are fortunate we have not asked you to leave the court.”

The court then asked Jahnavi, “Six years ago, did you not realise he was already married?” She requested the bench for Gaurav’s custody for life. “You are the mother. You can keep the child in whatever manner you want,” the judges said.
More pained than parents
The bench asked Anuj to hand over the child to Jahnavi in the court itself. But the child refused to leave him. Anuj’s counsel said that Jahnavi was in England for a long time doing higher studies, and the child grew up with Anuj. As the child started crying, the bench said, “It is a very humiliating experience. We are experiencing more pain than the parents.” Anuj was told to leave the court leaving Gaurav behind, but the child clung on to him.

Seeing this, the judges said, “The child is attached to the father. This is the first time we are seeing that a child is not even looking at the mother… We have never come across such a case.”

Considering the extraordinary situation, the court ordered the investigation officer of the case, inspector Ratnakar Shetty, to take the husband, wife and child for counselling at the Child Counselling Centre, Infantry Road. “It won’t be sorted out in one counselling. You have to take them thrice,” the court told the cop.


Categories: Judiciary
  1. Radha
    August 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    The judges must be really stupid. In such a case, the court should consider the best interest of the child and not the mother nor father. If the mother’s mother has been beating the child, and the mother does not stop her, then she is not fit to be a mother and the child should be removed from her custody and she should not be allowed to be near the child. It is clear in this case that the child wants to be with the father, so why are the judged trying to play god. They should rule in favour of what the child ones. Why make an innocent child suffer due to the selfishness of the mother.

  2. Arin
    August 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Most judges do not know the law and we expect them to understand child psychology? Most judges are failed lawyers, This judge in his misguided zeal to benefit the mother is not concerned about the best interest of the child. It is likely that he is more scared of his wife than even the women’s groups.

  3. vinay
    September 17, 2011 at 9:31 am


  4. benny
    October 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Such cases are making a mockery of relationships and encouraging women like her to encash the situation and destroying so many lives i pity the child who will go into the hands of such a mother who consinders him a blank cheque………..I also pity the doctor who has been living in fear and the judge put aside his human rights just because he loves his son so much and took care of the child all these years……..

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