Single in life but married in death: How 'bachelor' got a mystery wife

A forensic analysis of the deceased’s signature and what was in the marriage certificate indicated they were authored by two different people. [iStockphoto]

In his lifetime, 76-year-old Kanwajit Singh Chadda was said to be a bachelor.

However, upon his death, a marriage certificate emerged indicating he married four months before he died.

His family told the court that since the 1960s, they implored him to find one who would smite his heart with love and marry her. However, the court heard that his stand was too hard for Cupid to strike and light up his soul for a woman.

The puzzling tale of Singh who was said to be single but emerged a married man in death is contained in a case where a woman and a pastor were charged with forgery, convicted, but subsequently released on appeal.

Singh died on October 31, 2018, and was said to have married on July 27, of the same year.

High Court Judge Diana Mochache Kavedza ordered that Marilyn Mercy Wanjiru and Christopher Mutira of International Pentecostal Wholeness Church be set free after finding that there was no proof that they forged a marriage certificate.

Wanjiru and Mutira were charged before the magistrate’s court. After trial, they were found guilty of forgery. The two were ordered to pay Sh200,000 fine, and in default, serve one year in jail for forgery. On the count, the two were ordered to pay Sh50,000 each or serve six months imprisonment.

Aggrieved, they moved to the High Court arguing that they were wrongly convicted. The prosecution called four witnesses.

The first was George Gichihi. He told the court that in 2018, he was in charge of approving marriage registration certificates at the registrar of marriages. According to him, the deceased applied for a special licence on July 26, 2018. He told the court that the applicants were Wanjiru, 49 years old, and Singh, 76.

The court heard that Kanwajit Singh Chadda's stand was too hard for Cupid to strike. [iStockphoto]

From the registrar’s record, the marriage was officiated by Mutira, hence, Gichihi testified the certificate was issued regularly.

The other witness was Chief Inspector of Police Daniel Gutu. The officer testified that a forensic analysis of the deceased’s signature and what was in the marriage certificate indicated they were authored by two different people.

Further, the State called Parminder Singh Chatta. He narrated that Singh never married in his life. According to him, his late brother never disclosed he was married to Wanjiru.

He argued that his brother’s death and subsequent cremation were peculiar as it was done in haste.

The lead investigator in the case also testified. Police Constable Dickson Gitonga said he found out that Wanjiru was Singh’s employee.  He said the registrar of marriages conceded that there was an anomaly in the marriage certificate.

 Wanjiru gave her side of the story. 

The 55-year-old told the court she met Singh in 1989, and got into a romantic relationship. As love life sometimes has ups and downs, she testified that they parted ways but rekindled the flames in 1999.

According to her, she lived with the deceased from 2013 as a wife and sealed the union with a marriage on July 27, 2018, in church. She said Singh was Christian.

When Mutira was asked about Wanjiru and Singh, he testified that he had known the deceased since 2017, and one year later, Wanjiru requested that he marry them.

 The marriage, according to Mutira, was a 10-guest ceremony that was also attended by one pastor Philomena. Wanjiru and Mutira also called a private forensic examiner. Martin Papa told the court the signatures on the marriage certificate and that presented by the prosecution were from the same author.

After hearing rival arguments, Justice Kavedza said there was no evidence to prove the two were the ones who forged the marriage certificate.