Delhi HC cancels marriage after 16 years
The Delhi High Court on Friday annulled the marriage between a husband and wife after 16 years, observing that the wife’s failure to disclose her mental disorder prior to her marriage to the husband was a fraud perpetrated against him.
Judge Vipin Sanghi and Judge Jasmeet Singh dealt with an appeal filed by the husband challenging a family court order in which his application under s. 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act was rejected.
In the husband’s case, the marriage was the result of a calculated fraud that was perpetrated by the wife and her family members, as they chose not to disclose a vital and crucial fact regarding his sanity. It was also reported that the woman was, before the marriage, and during the days she remained with the husband, suffering from acute schizophrenia. He said the bride behaved in a very unusual way after her marriage at the matrimonial home, as well as during their honeymoon.
Initially, the Court is of the opinion that the judges are not professionals or medical experts, and acquire limited knowledge on the basis of the arguments of the parties, of the medical literature produced before them; expert testimony produced at the Court and arguments advanced before the Court.
âCourts, in order to be able to decide such questions, need expert advice from credible people in the field. The parties also have the right to grant the possibility either to support or to challenge the opinion which the experts may give after questioning the person concerned. , and all other relevant documents. However, what weighs on us at the outset is the Respondent’s refusal to submit to an assessment of her condition by an independent medical commission to be appointed by the Court, “ said the court.
The court also ruled that the wife’s categorical refusal to submit to a medical examination prevented her from coming to the truth.
âMarriage is not just about happy memories and good times, and two people in a marriage have to face challenges and weather the storm together. Living with a partner who has problems is not easy. health problems, and such ailments come with their own challenges for the person facing the problem, and more so for the spouse.There must be an understanding of the problems in a marriage and communication between partners – especially when one of two partners in a marriage is faced with the challenges of. the court observed.
Noting that while it was true that the medical opinion in the case was inconclusive, the court noted, however, that the doctors’ testimony coupled with the medical documents suggested that the wife suffered from schizophrenia.
âThere is no explanation or reason as to the nature of these headaches; what caused these headaches; and ; what was the treatment given to the respondent for these headaches“, added the Court.
Disagreeing with the family court’s findings, the court ruled that he erred in rejecting the husband’s request and that his approach was wrong.
The court said that the wife’s refusal to submit to a medical examination by the medical committee of experts had led to the inference that she was not prepared to face the medical committee as it could have reveal the state of her mental well-being and allegedly established the husband’s claim that she suffered from schizophrenia.
“Why else, such a wife, who claims not to suffer from any mental illness, who preferred a petition for restitution of marital rights, and expresses her desire to live with the appellant husband, not to undergo such a medical examination?”“said the court.
He added :
” truth. The respondent undermined the court’s efforts to come to a definitive conclusion of the truth. has substantially discharged the burden of proof by presenting convincing evidence and raises a preponderance of likelihood that the Respondent suffers from schizophrenia. “
âThe Respondent’s failure to disclose her mental disorder prior to her marriage to the Appellant – as he alleges, constitutes fraud against the Appellant. “
Allowing the appeal, the Court annulled the marriage for the reason contained in s. 12 (1) (b) of the Hindu Marriage Act.
âHowever, in the process, unfortunately, the appellant’s life was ruined and he got stuck in this relationship for 16 years without any resolution. In the most important years of his life, where the appellant would have otherwise , enjoyed marital and conjugal happiness and satisfaction, he must have suffered because of the stubbornness shown not only by the respondent, but even by her father, who seems to have taken the lead in the marriage dispute raised by the appellant ,“said the court while awarding the husband a symbolic cost of Rs. 10,000.
Title: SANDEEP AGGARWAL c. PRIYANKA AGGARWAL
Click here to read the order