The star HD 51844 was observed in the CoRoT LRa02 as a target in the seismology field, which turned out to be an SB2 system. The 117-day light curve revealed δ Scuti pulsations in the range of 6 to 15 d-1 where four frequencies have amplitudes larger than 1.4 mmag, and a rich frequency spectrum with amplitudes lower than 0.6 mmag. Additionally, the light curve exhibits a 3-mmag brightening event recurring every 33.5 days with a duration of about 5 days. The radial velocities from spectroscopy confirmed that the star is an eccentric binary system with nearly identical masses and physical parameters. The brightening event in the light curve coincides with the maximum radial-velocity separation showing that the brightening is in fact caused by tidal distortion and/or reflected light. One component displays large line-profile variations, while the other does not show significant variation. The frequency analysis revealed a quintuplet structure of the four highest-amplitude frequencies, which is due to the orbital motion of the pulsating star.