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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Jaswinder Singh vs Manjit Kaur on 21 May, 2018

FAO 2709 of 2015 (OM) [1]

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT

CHANDIGARH.

FAO 2709 of 2015 (OM)

Date of Decision: May 21, 2018

Jaswinder Singh

…..Appellant
Vs.

Manjit Kaur

…..Respondent

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M.S. BEDI.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE GURVINDER SINGH GILL.
-.-

Present: Mr. Malkeet Singh, Advocate
for the appellant.

Mr. Vineet Chaudhary, Advocate for the respondent.

-.-

M.M.S. BEDI, J.

Jaswinder Singh appellalnt is aggrieved by dismissal of his

petition for annulment of marriage with Manjit Kaur respondent vide

judgment and decree dated March 4, 2015 passed by Family Court, Ambala.

The appellant has preferred this appeal under Section 19 of the Family

Courts Act to set aside the impugned judgment and decree and seeks a

declaration that his marriage with respondent which was solemnized on

December 12, 1997 be declared a nullity.

Briefly stated the facts pleaded by the appellant-husband in his

petition are that his marriage with respondent was solemnized on December

12, 1997 according to Sikh rites. The appellant and respondent cohabited

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together as husband and wife and one male child Darshdeep was born out of

said wedlock on July 6, 1999. The appellant levelled allegations of

maltreatment and cruelty against the respondent. During the period of 14

years of marriage, they had lived together for a period of six months under

one roof and for the last more than 10 years they had been residing

separately in separate rooms in the house of the appellant. The allegations

have been levelled against the respondent for not performing the

matrimonial duties and causing mental and physical cruelty. It has been

averred in the petition that respondent had deserted the appellant in the same

house. An allegation has been levelled that respondent was already married

at the time of marriage with the present appellant, with one Ravinder Singh

on March 4, 1992, at Chandigarh but she did not disclose the said fact to the

appellant regarding her earlier marriage. It is further averred in the petition

that respondent had played a fraud with the appellant as she was already

married with Ravinder Singh which fact was not disclosed to the appellant

as well as to his parents. It was informed that respondent was youngest

daughter of her parents whereas the respondent was having a younger sister

who was also married. It was further averred that respondent had obtained

divorce from her earlier husband on January 29, 1998 after the

solemnization of marriage with the appellant, by the Court of Sh.Amar Dutt,

the then District Judge, Chandigarh, in case “Manjit Kaur Vs. Ravinder

Singh @ Lalli”, as such there was concealment of fact by the respondent

regarding her earlier marriage which has caused mental torture to the

appellant as well as his family members as such decree for annulment of

marriage was prayed for.

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The respondent contested the petition for nullity claiming that

son of the parties was studying in 10th class and the respondent was also

residing in the same house. The petition was a counter-blast to an

application filed by the respondent under Protection of Women from

Domestic Violence Act, 2005. As a matter of fact, the appellant was

humiliating and harassing the respondent on account of insufficient dowry

having been brought by her. The appellant has given wrong title of the

petition by showing the name of the previous husband of the respondent who

had already obtained divorce and all facts were well within the knowledge of

the appellant. On merits, the petition has been contested on the ground that

at the time of solemnization of marriage, sum of Rs.5 lacs was spent on the

marriage and valuable dowry articles had been given to the appellant and his

family members. The respondent wife admitted to have filed a petition

under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 but the

allegations of cruelty by her stand denied. The respondent has submitted

that everything was disclosed to the appellant about her previous marriage

prior to her marriage with appellant. The marriage with appellant is valid

and it was solemnized with due knowledge of the appellant and his family

members including the relations. The appellant was having all papers of

divorce which he had not disclosed in the present petition. The appellant

with his free consent had agreed to the re-marriage with the respondent as

such there was neither any concealment of fact nor any ground for

annulment of marriage. It is claimed that on account of petition having been

filed at belated stage with manipulations, the same deserves to be dismissed.

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It was rather appellant who had committed cruelty on the respondent. It was

specifically pleaded that the petition was hopelessly barred by time.

On the pleadings of the parties, following issues were framed:-

“1. Whether the petitioner is entitled to seek

annulment of marriage between the parties under

Section 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 ? OPP

2. Relief.”

The lower Court arrived at a conclusion that the parties had

solemnized the marriage on December 12, 1997 and prior to the said

marriage, the respondent had solemnized marriage with one Ravinder Singh

on March 4, 1992 which was dissolved by a decree of mutual divorce vide

judgment dated January 29, 1998, as mentioned in the petition. The lower

Court observed that the petition had been presented after a period of more

than one year of knowledge of fraud as such it was not maintainable.

Mr. Malkeet Singh, learned counsel for the appellant has

vehemently contended that as a matter of fact the petition for declaring the

marriage null and void is under Section 11 (1) of the Hindu Marriage Act,

for short ‘the Act’, read with Section 5 (i) of the Act as the respondent had a

living spouse at the time of marriage i.e. on December 12, 1997 while she

had obtained divorce from her first husband on January 29, 1998 by a decree

of divorce by mutual consent.

On the other hand, counsel for the respondent submits that the

declaration sought is bared by time. The petition for claiming marriage a

nullity has been filed after a period of about 14 years as such it is liable to be

dismissed.

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Mr. Malkeet Singh, counsel for the appellant, has vehemently

urged that any marriage which has been performed by a spouse while first

marriage was subsisting would be a nullity as per provisions of Section 11 of

the Act. Mr. Malkeet Singh has urged that the delay, estoppel and law of

limitation will not in any manner effect the right of a spouse to seek

declaration that marriage is void.

We have considered the facts and circumstances of the case and

considered the contention of counsel for the parties. At the outset, when

confronted with provisions of Sections 11 and 12 of the Act, Mr. Malkeet

Singh submitted that as a matter of fact the marriage had been sought to be

declared invalid under Section 11 of the Act as the same deserves to be

declared as a nullity because the marriage contravenes one of the conditions

specified in clause 5 (i) of the Act which lays down that for a lawful

marriage the necessary condition is that neither party should have a spouse

living at the time of marriage and a marriage in contravention to this

condition, is therefore, required to be declared null and void. He admitted

that so far as Section 12 of the Act is concerned, it is confined to the other

category of marriage and is not applicable to a marriage which is solemnized

in violation of provisions of Section 5 (i) of the Act. He submitted that in

view of the facts of the present case being covered under Section 11 read

with Section 5 (i) of the Act, the marriage between the appellant and the

respondent is required to be declared null and void. He placed strong

reliance on the judgment of Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav Vs. Anantrao

Shivram Adhav, AIR 1988 SC 644 wherein the case of right of

maintenance of a wife who had a living spouse at the time of her marriage

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was considered and it was held that under Section 12 of the Act marriage of

a woman with a man having living spouse, is a complete nullity and she is

not entitled for benefit under Section 125 Cr.P.C. For the same proposition,

counsel for the appellant has relied upon M.M. Malhotra Vs. Union of

India, (2005) 8 SCC 351. In the said case the rights of an Air Force officer

who had been compulsorily retired were considered and it was held that he

having developed illicit relations with a lady during subsistence of his first

marriage had been rightly retired compulsorily as he had contracted plural

marriage which was not permissible under the Air Force Regulations as well

as under Section 11 of the Act. In support of his contention, that the second

marriage during life time of living spouse would be void and invalid and

requires no declaration as a nullity counsel for the appellant has cited

Mohan Lal Sharma Vs. Parveen, 2009 (4) RCR (Civil) 749 in which the

marriage of appellant was declared null and void being second marriage.

Reliance was also placed on the judgment of Manpreet Kaur Vs. Balkar

Singh, 2015 (5) RCR (Civil) 510 wherein the wife had solemnized marriage

with respondent during subsistence of her previous marriage and she had a

living spouse and therefore, marriage was annulled later on. The marriage

of appellant being violative of Section 5 (i) of the Act was declared to be

null and void. He also placed reliance on the judgment of Hemlata

Karayat Vs. Vijay Kumar Karayat, 2015 (5) RCR (Civil) 160, wherein

while considering the right of wife who entered into second marriage

without divorce from the first husband who was alive was held not entitled

for maintenance as her marriage was null and void under Section 11 of the

Act. It was observed that second husband was not required to seek formal

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declaration from the competent Court of law for declaring the marriage void.

He urged that his petition may be considered as a petition under Section 11

of the Act. In support of his contention, he relied upon the judgment of

Chain Singh Vs. Hardeep Kaur, 2016 (3) PLR 700 wherein it was

observed that an error in quoting correct provisions of law can be condoned

and the case be considered on merits.

On the other hand, counsel for the respondent has argued that as

per the judgment of Perminder Charan Singh etc. Vs. Harjit Kaur, AIR

2003 SC 2310 where the appellant husband was aware of marital status of

respondent wife at the time of marriage, there was no question of annulment

of marriage though it was a case of annulment of marriage under Section 13

of the Act.

We have heard counsel for the parties and gone through the

pleadings and the entire evidence and the case law cited by both the counsel

for the parties and are of the opinion that the point which is required for the

determination of the present appeal is whether a husband who has stayed

with his wife for a period of 14 years having knowledge about the date of

her divorce from earlier husband would be entitled to seek a declaration that

his marriage is null and void on account of the fact that 14 years back his

wife had not obtained divorce and had rather obtained divorce about one

month after marriage with him, by mutual consent from her previous

husband Ravinder Singh. The above said proposition has to be considered in

the light of the evidence led by both the parties taking into consideration the

provisions of Section 11 of the Act read with Section 5 (i) of the Act as well

as the law of limitation and the principle of estoppel and waiver. It is not out

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of place to mention here that no other point has been raised in the present

case except for the applicability of Section 11 of the Act read with Section 5

(i) of the Act as a ground for declaring the marriage void. It is not disputed

that the marriage of the parties had taken place on December 12, 1997 and a

decree for divorce under Section 13 B of the Act had been passed on January

29, 1998 (after 46 days of the second marriage) and the appellant had the

knowledge about the first marriage and date of divorce as established by

Hardit Singh Sandhu, RW1 that he knew that the respondent had filed a

petition for divorce with first husband by mutual consent. The said fact has

been proved by the respondent herself by appearing as a witness as RW2 and

by tendering her testimony in the shape of affidavit Ex.RW2/2.

We have considered the above said facts in context to the

relevant law. It is undisputed fact arisen from the present case that the

respondent wife was earlier married to Ravinder Singh on March 4, 1992.

Respondent had filed a petition under Section 13 B of the Act along with her

husband on July 17, 1997. The marriage was dissolved vide judgment and

decree Ex.R-1 and R-2 passed by District Judge, Chandigarh. The

respondent wife had married the appellant after recording of the statement

dated July 26, 1997 of Special Power of Attorney holder of her husband

Ravinder Singh, namely, Jarnail Singh, i.e. during the pendency of the

proceedings under Section 13 B of the Act, on December 12, 1997. The

petition for nullifying the marriage solemnized on December 12, 1997 was

filed on September 6, 2012 after the respondent initiated proceedings under

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, in the Court of

CJM, Ambala in November 2011, which is apparent from Mark ‘B’, copy of

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the application placed on record and proved by the respondent by appearing

as RW2. The petition for nullity of the marriage was contested on the

ground that she has been residing in the same house as that of the appellant.

They have a grown up child studying in 10th class and the petition has been

filed as a counter-blast to the proceedings under the Protection of Women

from Domestic Violence Act and that the appellant was very well aware of

her previous marriage and date of divorce as everything was disclosed to the

appellant as the marriage had been solemnized with due knowledge of the

appellant and his family members; the appellant had all the papers of

divorce. The case of the respondent wife is that all the documents were

handed over to the appellant prior to the marriage even at the time of

engagement. There is no ambiguity regarding the date of divorce and

everything was done in consented manner with the free consent of the

appellant. He had agreed to re-marriage. There has not been any

concealment of facts. The petition had been filed at belated stage. It was

also alleged that the appellant had himself committed matrimonial wrong by

treating the respondent with cruelty. Specific plea was taken that the

petition was barred by time.

The respondent has been able to establish from her testimony

as RW2 which is coupled with the admission of appellant in his cross-

examination that the marriage is settled with his consent and free mind.

Appellant also admitted that he had filed a petition for declaring the

marriage a nullity after the respondent had filed application under Section

125 Cr.P.C. and a petition under Protection of Women from Domestic

Violence Act, 2005, against him in the year 2011 and he had been ordered to

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pay a sum of Rs.5000/- per month to the respondent besides a sum of

Rs.2000/- p.m. to the minor. The appellant admitted that he never made a

complaint against the respondent before any authority regarding any fraud

having been played on him.

On the basis of appreciation of evidence, the lower Court

arrived at a conclusion that the appellant had knowledge about the first

marriage of the respondent and that he had challenged the validity of the

marriage after 14 years and that his petition is barred under Section 12 (2)

(a) (i) of the Act as the petition had been presented after more than one year

of alleged fraud having been discovered by him.

In the present case it stands established that at the time of filing

of the petition, 14 years had elapsed from the date of marriage and the

petition for nullity on the ground that the wife was earlier married on the

date of marriage with appellant was taken after proceedings for maintenance

and domestic violence had been launched against him.

Counsel for the appellant has placed strong reliance on the

following judgments:-

                   i)     Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav Vs. Anantrao
Shivram Adhav, AIR 1988 SC 644;
ii) M.M. Malhotra Vs. Union of India, (2005) 8
SCC 351;
iii) Mohan Lal Sharma Vs. Parveen, 2009 (4) RCR
(Civil) 749;
iv) Manpreet Kaur Vs. Balkar Singh, 2015 (5) RCR
(Civil) 510;
v) Narinder Singh Mangat Vs. Harjinder Kaur,
2017 (2) RCR (Civil) 387;
vi) Hemlata Karayat Vs. Vijay Kumar Karayat,
2015 (5) RCR (Civil) 160;

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We have carefully gone through all the said judgments.

Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav's case (supra) was a case of a wife who had

married respondent No.1 in 1974 but the husband had a subsisting marriage

on the day when he married the appellant. The appellant had lived with him

for one week. In context to the provisions of Section 125 Cr.P.C. it was held

that the marriage of appellant wife was a nullity as such she was not entitled

to any maintenance. The scope of Sections 11 or 12 of the Act was not the

subject matter of the said judgment. The said judgment was followed in the

case of M.M. Malhotra (supra) where the appellant/ husband had been

terminated from his service on the basis of having married during

subsistence of his first marriage. It was observed that second marriage

would be void marriage under Section 11 of the Act in context to his

misconduct, for the service purposes. In Mohan Lal Sharma's case

(supra), single Bench of this Court had set aside the judgment of the lower

Court declining decree of nullity under Section 11 of the Act and the same

was set aside relying upon the judgments of M.M. Malhotra's case (supra)

just making an observation that merely because the appellant was aware of

the previous marriage at the time of the marriage would be no ground to

non-suit him. In view of above discussion, the judgments in M.M.

Malhotra's case (supra) and Yamunabai Anatrao Adhav's case (supra),

and that of Mohan Lal Sharma's case (supra) do not lay down an sbolute

rule of law that every marriage of a spouse could be considered as null and

void at any time despite the fact that the spouse claiming a declaration for

nullity had a knowledge for a long time about the factum of first marriage.

Similarly, in the case of Manpreet Kaur (supra), the respondent/ husband

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had obtained a decree under Section 11 of the Act on the ground that the

wife was already married to one Deepak Virdi and the said marriage was

still subsisting. The marriage of the respondent was declared a nullity. A

perusal of the said judgment indicates that the principle of estoppel, waiver

and limitation was neither raised nor considered, as such the said judgment

cannot be treated as a precedent to hold that in all circumstances, at any

time, a spouse can seek to get a marriage declared a nullity on the ground

that the other spouse was having a living spouse at the time of marriage. In

Promila Vs. Ashok Kumar and another, 2009 (4) RCR (Civil) 444, the

wife had dissolved her marriage by Panchayat and had re-married the

respondent. Dissolution of marriage by Panchayat was held to be without

jurisdiction and the decree of the trial Court for nullity of marriage in favour

of the husband was upheld relying upon the judgment of M.M. Malhotra's

case (supra).

As in none of the judgments referred to by counsel for the

appellant, the applicability of principles of estoppel and waiver or the law of

limitation has been considered and finally decided, we have taken into

consideration the Parliamentary discussion when the Hindu Marriage Bill

had been presented. A perusal of the discussion of May 3, 1955 indicates

that Sh.Rane who had been an expert and proposed the amendments, had

raised the arguments as follows:-

"Shri Rane: I have appeared in about hundred cases of

divorce. You may call me an expert. But I have tabled

all these amendments based on my actual experience in

courts. You may laugh at it. I know there are many

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Members who will later on come to know that my

amendment to clause 12--amendment No.10--was a

very wise amendment. I reply upon the future and I have

given several grounds in all details in my amendment

No.10.

My amendment No.10 to clause 12 seeks to

combine clause 13 with clause 12. If my amendment is

accepted, there will be no necessity for retaining clause

13. The language of clause 12 of the Bill, in my opinion,

is very clumsy. I have read it and re-read it. There are so

many ifs and buts and therefore I was unable to make any

meaning for some time. I read and re-read and then I

came to know the meaning of this caluse. I want that the

language of the present Hindu Marriage Bill should be

very simple. It must not be left to the lawyers to interpret

it in different ways. Let the Bill say what we mean in a

simple language that a man-in-the- street can understand.

My amendment has this merit that as soon as you read it,

you can make the meaning out of it. My claim may

perhaps be exaggerated. I humbly submit that the

language of my amendment is very simple and even a

man-in-the-street may make meaning out of it.

As regards the other matters, I wish to stress the

importance of amendment No.6 which seeks to liberalise

the grounds for judicial separation. Amendment No.8

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relates to the question of void marriages. My amendment

seeks to omit clause (i), that is, to omit the condition.

"(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the

marriage;"

My object is that if a man marries another wife, it should

not be declared void; it should be made punishable only.

My amendment to clause 11 says:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of the Indian

Limitation Act, no petition under Section 11 of this

Act, shall lie after two years from the date of the

solemnization of the marriage and the marriage not

so declared null and void by a petition under

Section 11 shall be valid for all purposes

notwithstanding the contravention of section 5 of

this Act."

It is a question of limitation. I want that no

marriage should be challenged on the ground that it is

void after a specific period after the marriage has been

solemnized.

With these observations, I commend my

amendments to the acceptance of the House."

A perusal of the proposal of the amendment to Section 11 of

the Act himself was that a proviso should be added that no petition under

Section 11 of the Act would lie after two years from the date of

solemnization of the marriage and the marriage not so declared null and void

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by a petition under Section 11 of the Act shall be valid for all purposes

notwithstanding the contravention of Section 5 of the Act.

Few of the comments of the Speakers who participated in the

debate prior to the passing of the Hindu Marriage Bill are relevant. The

legislature had entered into a prolonged discussion regarding the status of

the child begotten or conceived before a decree is made regarding nullity of

the marriage under Sections 11 and 12 of the Act and also regarding the

locus standi of a person who could challenge the validity of marriage having

interest in the marriage. The relevant portion of the discussion as extracted

from page 7641 is reproduced as under:-

"Shri Pataskar: May I point out to the Hon. Member

that under the section as it stands, a petition can be made

only by either of the party?

Shri S.S. More: Presented by either party. But

suppose either party who entered into the wedlock,

though void, decided not to get it set aside, what is going

to happen?

Shri N.C. Chatterjee: May I draw the attention of the

hon. Minister to this. Cannot a suit be filed under

Section 42 for a declaration of the marriage as void if

there is non-compliance with the conditions prescribed in

Section 5? Will not the Court declare the marriage void

because of non-compliance, apart from section 11? A

suit can be filed and declaration can be obtained.

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Shri Pataskar: Section 11 is a shorter remedy

provided. It may or may not be used.

Shri N.C. Chatterjee: I hope the hon. Minister agrees

that this is not the exclusive remedy. Ordinarily a suit

would lie in a civil court under Section 42 of the Specific

Relief Act.

Shri S.S. More: My proposition is this. Either party

can get a marriage declared void. Besides either party,

ther are many relations, say, father and other persons

whose property the children, the product of this wedlock

may inherit. Now, unfortunately, that marriage is not set

aside by the two parties concerned, because they are

interested in keeping their present relationship. Now,

what happens under clause 16? Clause 16 says that they

shall be deemed to be legitimate children for a certain

limited purpose. It may be so if the marriage of their

parents is set aside or declared to be null and void. But

there is a contingency, and there will be many cases,

where the marriage, though void, remains as it is and

unannulled by any decree of a Court. Then, say, after 15

or 20 years the question of inheritance opens up

somewhere. Now, what is going to happen to these

children? That is my point. So there should be certain

period fixed, and if other relations also do not take proper

steps, if permitted under clause 11 to set aside the

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marriage, then they should be stopped from challenging

the legitimacy of the children; otherwise, it will be a sort

of very unfair deal to the children concerned. So as far as

clause 16 is concerned, it will have to be further amended

by Government so as to put in some limit, that within

such and such period it should be done. If it is not done,

the children of that marriage should not be punished for

the sins because they will be not in a position to see at the

earliest moment that the marriage of their parents was

void. This is my submission.

Shri Dhulekar: Clauses 11 and 16 are badly drafted.

Shri S.S. More: I have made my point sufficiently

clear. Clause 16 will be only applicable to children, the

marriage of whose parents is declared null and void.....

Shri N.C.Chatterjee: After nullification under this Act.

Shri S.S. More: Nullification of the marriage will be a

condition precedent for their getting this status of

legitimate children. But there will be many children, the

marriage of whose parents is void--can be proved to be

void--but no party has taken any steps to get it set aside.

Take, for instance, contravention of the prohibited

degrees. Then, say after 15 years or 20 years when 'X' is

going to claim a particular property, the point may be

raised that the marriage of X's parents was void and

therefore, X is illegitimate. Being illegitimate, he cannot

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claim this particular property by inheritance. That is the

point.

Mr. Chairman: It should be limited to a period. I

think it is reasonable.

Shri S.S. More: If the relations do not take that step

within that time, they must be stopped from challenging

the legitimacy of the child. Therefore, this clause 11 will

have to be amended. Instead of restricting the rights of

presenting the petition to either party, make it as wide as

possible so that everybody interested will have a chance

to say something."

A reading of the above said extracts clearly indicates that the

point of limitation to challenge a marriage being nullity under Section 11 of

the Act was taken into consideration and it was even proposed that there

should be certain period fixed so that a marriage could be set aside within

some reasonable period. The proposer had suggested that limitation for 2

years from the date of solemnization of marriage should be fixed to seek a

declaration regarding the marriage being null and void. The said proposed

amendment has not found its way into the legislation but with the passage of

time, a controversy has been repeatedly raised regarding the right of a

spouse to seek declaration that marriage is null and void on account of one

of the spouse having another living spouse.

We have also taken into consideration the period of limitation

for seeking a declaration. A perusal of the provisions of Limitation Act

indicates that in Part III of the Schedule, a period of 3 years has been

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prescribed to seek a declaration. A declaration is granted under Section 34

of the Specific Relief Act for enforcement of a legal right which is denied by

another party. The declaration which is sought under Section 11 of the Act

is also in the nature of a declaration under the provisions of Specific Relief

Act for which the limitation prescribed is three years. If any party raises a

plea of knowledge of any act which is nullity, it is always a question of fact

to be decided in each case.

We have also taken into consideration the scope of Hindu

Marriage Act which is introduced in the year 1955 in the light of "mischief

rule" of interpretation of statute. The above said act was incorporated in the

year 1955 with one of the major objective to prohibit polygamy. The

intention of the legislature to prohibit bigamy or polygamy stands enshrined

in provisions of Section 11 read with Section 5 (i) of the Act. The objective

of incorporation of Section 11 of the Act was to declare second marriage a

nullity. The legislative discussion in the Parliament is indicative of the fact

that the rules of limitation and estoppel and principle of waiver were not

ignored but for assigning any limitation; for seeking a marriage nullity, were

incorporated. The general rule of limitation for seeking declaration and

principle of waiver and estoppel cannot be ignored. We are of the

considered opinion that in view of above discussion a party seeking to

declare a marriage null and void on the ground that one of the spouses was

having a living spouse, he has to approach the Court within a reasonable

period which, in the light of Limitation Act should be three years but in

cases where ignorance of the fact of first marriage is pleaded it will always

be a question of fact to be decided in every case on the basis of evidence,

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therefore, no straight jacket formula could be laid down but we hold that any

petition under Section 11 of the Act should be filed within a reasonable

period after the date of marriage which in the light of provisions of the

Limitation Act would generally be not more than three years depending

upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

In the present case as mentioned hereinabove, the appellant

already had a knowledge about the marriage of the respondent with Ravinder

Singh when he married the respondent. The date of marriage is December

12, 1997. A petition under Section 11 of the Act has been filed in the year

2012 after about 14 years. The intention of a party will also be a relevant

factor in the circumstances of each case. In the present case, the petition is

apparently filed with malafide intention as a counter-blast to the proceedings

initiated by the wife for maintenance and under Protection of Women from

Domestic Violence Act.

In view of the above circumstances, we do not find any

infirmity in the judgment and decree dated March 4, 2015 passed by lower

Court in dismissing the petition for declaring the marriage null and void.

The appeal is dismissed. The judgment and decree passed by

the Family Court dated March 4, 2015 is hereby affirmed.

(M.M.S. BEDI)
JUDGE

May 21, 2018 (GURVINDER SINGH GILL)
sanjay JUDGE
Whether speaking/ reasoned: Yes/ No.

Whether reportable: Yes/No.

20 of 20
08-07-2018 14:33:59 :::

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