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Report No. 90

4.13. Other provisions of law providing for declaration of nullity.-

It may also be mentioned in this context that apart from section 19 of the Indian Divorce Ace1 relief call be claimed on general principles of law also, for getting a declaration of nullity of marriage, on appropriate grounds. Thus, with reference to section 4 of the Divorce Act, it was held in a Delhi case2 that a suit seeking a declaration of nullity on the ground of non-observance of essential ceremonies should be filed in the ordinary court of original civil jurisdiction, and not in the High Court. This indirectly implies that relief on the above ground could be claimed under the general rules of law. Again, it has been held that so far as a suit for declaring a marriage null and void is based on the ground that the petitioner was an idiot at the time of his marriage and that the petitioner's consent was obtained by fraud, the High Court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit. But a suit based on the ground of non-observance of essential ceremonies must be filed in an ordinary civil court.3-4

Questions of validity of marriage have also been raised with reference to personal law. Thus, it has been held by the Calcutta High Court that personal law of a Roman Catholic woman forbids her to enter into a marriage with a jew. The marriage ceremony so undergone does not affect a valid marriage.5 A suit can be filed, to declare the marriage to be a nullity, under section 42, Specific Relief Act, 1877, (now section 34, Specific Relief Act, 1963).6

1. Para. 4.7, supra.

2. Jordan Dienandoh v. Swaranjit Singh Chopra, AIR 1882 NOC 313 (Del) (December issue) (Matrimonial case No. 1 of 1980, decided on 19 Feb., 1982).

3. Title (Mt.) v. Alfred Robert Jones, AIR 1934 273.

4. AIR 1923 Pat 201 referred.

5. Jude v. Jude, AIR 1949 Cal 563.

6. Para. 4.14, infra.

The Grounds of Divorce amongst Christians in India - Section 10 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 Back

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