Whereas it is expedient to provide for the prevention of bigamous marriages among the residents of Singapore, it is hereby enacted as follows:
1) This Ordinance be called the Singapore Prevention of Bigamous Marriages Ordinance 1954.
2) It extends to the whole colony of Singapore.
2. The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to all those who reside in Singapore.
3. In this ordinance, unless there is anything in the subjects or context.
1) "Bigamous Marriage" means the marriage of a person during the lifetime of his or her spouse, if the marriage of such person with such spouse has not been dissolved or declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction or has not been dissolved, or is not valid according to the custom or usage of the community to which either of the parties to such marriage belongs; but does not include the marriage of a person during the lifetime of his or her spouse , if such spouse at the time of such marriage shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such person as being alive within that time provided that the person contracting such marriage is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge.
2) "Minor" means any person who is under sixteen years of age.
4. Notwithstanding any law, custom or usage to the contrary, a bigamous marriage shall be void.
1) If it is contracted in this Colony after the coming into force of this Ordinance and either or both the contracting parties to such marriage are domiciled in this colony.
5. Notwithstanding any law, custom or usage to the contrary, whoever not being a minor contracts a bigamous marriage which is void under Section 4 shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall be liable to fine.
6. Whoever performs, conducts, or abets any bigamous marriage in this Colony shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both, unless he proves that he had reason to believe such marriage was not bigamous marriage.
1) When a minor contracts a bigamous marriage which is void under Section 4, any person having charge of the minor whether as parent or Guardian or any other capacity, lawful or otherwise, who does any act to promote the marriage, or permits it to be solemnized or negligently fails to prevent it from being solemnized shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with a fine or both.
2) For the purpose of this Section, it shall be presumed, unless and until the contrary is proved, that where a minor has contracted a bigamous marriage which is void under Section 4, the person having charge of such minor, whether parent of Guardian, or in any other capacity lawful or otherwise , has negligently failed to prevent the marriage from being solemnized.
8. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, and offence under Section 5 can be tried by a District Court
9. Offence under this Ordinance shall be cognizable.
10. This Ordinance does not apply to marriages and relationships contracted previous to it.
Last modified: 25 April 2001