A man charged with bigamy allegedly tried to bring his Indian wife to New Zealand only a year after marrying a Dunedin woman.
Ankit Kapila – who goes by the moniker "Rapper Ansh aka Dili Da Dilwala" - was due to appear in the Dunedin District Court this week on the rare charge but a warrant for his arrest was issued by Judge Jim Large.
The court heard Kapila, 33, was in India, a suspicion confirmed by the defendant to the Otago Daily Times.
He said he had been there since February, stressed he was innocent of all charges and had only married once – his estranged wife and mother of his two children Nicole, in Christchurch in 2016.
Kapila, however, produced documentation she said her husband had provided to Immigration New Zealand in 2017 in a failed bid to bring his first wife to the country.
The "Certificate of Marriage" features photos of Kapila and Seema Kapila, along with their signatures, and noted they married in June 2010.
Kapila explained he had a child with that woman but the marriage was called off during their engagement.
As well as the charge of bigamy, the defendant also faced counts of breaching a protection order, threatening to kill, assault in a family relationship and possession of a knife.
Though court documents alleged the violence took place in June 2020, Kapila said it was actually 2019.
She said her husband pushed her to the ground, held her down and punched her, causing a perforated eardrum.
He allegedly threatened to kill her while wielding a knife.
Kapila said he would swear on his children's lives that he was never violent towards his partner.
The trials of the relationship had taken their toll on Kapila since they first met in Burger King in 2015.
She said she would always love her husband but that there was no chance they would reconcile.
"We are over completely, no way in hell," she said.
"I am scared for my children and myself . . . No one can save me in New Zealand once he gets started."
Kapila features on several websites advertising his musical talents, labelling him "The Punjabi Rockstar".
One calls him "a man gifted with many talents, warm presence and positive attitude. Widely recognised as a complete entertainment factory" and "pure fun".
But Kapila was disparaging about his talents.
"I have not known Ankit to be a big-time musician," she said.
She said he had done a couple of gigs since they had been together and she was not allowed to attend.
Kapila said he was "in hell" being in New Delhi while his children were in Dunedin.
His return would see him arrested at the airport because of the warrant but he told the ODT he was determined to come back.
The maximum penalty for bigamy under the Crimes Act is seven years' imprisonment.