It’s tough to find out what really happened in this case
However the one view I have is as follows
* I (innocent abla nari) went to his house without telling my parents and also signed up for marriage before the marriage registrar….
* Later I filed an affidavit in 2013 where I did NOT raise the issue of financial or educational fraud !!
* However now I find that his salary is less than what he claimed, so I want annulment ….. !!
Of course readers are free to interpret this case as they wish !!
Calcutta High Court (Appellete Side)
Sri Subhendu Paul vs Smt. Satarupa Das Majumdar on 21 August, 2015
Author: Rajiv Sharma
IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
F.A.T. 325 of 2013
Sri Subhendu Paul
Smt. Satarupa Das Majumdar
Coram : The Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Sharma
The Hon’ble Justice Shivakant Prasad
For the Appellant : Mr. Kallol Basu
Mr. Bratin Kumar Dey
For the Respondent : Mr. Gopal Chandra Ghosh
Ms. Jayeta Kaunda
Heard On : 14.7.2015 & 20.7.2015
Judgment On : 21.8.2015
SHIVAKANT PRASAD, J.
Challenge in this appeal is against the judgment and decree dated 11.5.2013 passed by the learned Additional District Judge, 4th Court, Alipore, South 24-Parganas in Matrimonial Suit No. 1290 of 2009.
Brief facts leading to the instant appeal is that the present respondent as the petitioner filed an application under Section 25 of Special Marriage Act, 1954 with a prayer for annulment of the marriage by a Decree of nullity.
The petition8er contended that she is a a Computer Engineer employed as Student Councillor at Kriti Institute of Training and Development, Stephen House, BBD Bag, Kolkata from 12.7.2007 to 11.5.2008 where she became acquainted with the present appellant who was employed as part time Accounts Faculty. She had contact with him over telephone or mobile. The appellant had disclosed his educational qualification as having passed Inter C.A. and studying part time MBA from Joka who proposed to the present respondent to marry her and he gave out that he worked as Commercial Executive of Future Group at Food Bazar, Rajarhat. Her parents and sister did not agree to the proposal of the marriage.
On 10.12.2008 the present appellant took her to his house at Seoraphuli though she was unwilling to go there. She was surprised and astonished finding Marriage Registrar there. The appellant along with his mother and brother created pressure to put her signature and under compelling circumstances she put her signatures on some papers as the Marriage Registrar wanted her to sign. She came back to her house and was upset. Out of shame and fear she could not disclose the incident to her parents. According to the respondent herein she did not sign the papers at her own free will and volition and by the deceitful means present appellant made undue influence and misrepresentation to go to his house. Thus, he exercised fraud and coercion. He disclosed and claimed that his monthly salary was Rs. 17,000/- which was false rather she ascertained his salary to be only Rs. 9,500/- to Rs. 10,000/-. Accordingly, the present respondent as the petitioner of the Matrimonial Suit prayed for decree declaring the marriage as null and void.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick .
The present appellant as the respondent of the Mat. Suit contested the application by filing Written Statement and denied all material allegations made in the petition and contended, inter alia, that they had love affairs since November, 2007 and the marriage was registered under Special Marriage Act on 10.12.2008. The petitioner/respondent herein had disclosed that her parents could not accept such matrimonial relation between them. It is the contention of the present appellant that he tried to contact the present respondent in different manners even through Email as her parents had not allowed her to join service on and from 2009 and her mobiles were disconnected and her movement out of the house was restrained. Accordingly, the m appellant as respondent submitted that she was not entitled to get a decree of nullity of marriage.
The learned Trial Court on the basis of the above pleadings framed as many as five issues including the issues as to whether the marriage was solemnized by coercion and fraud and whether the marriage was consummated.
The learned Judge after taking evidence of both the parties was pleased to decree the suit on contest without costs by granting a decree for annulment for marriage by the Judgment dated 11.5.2013 which is the impugned Judgment under challenge before this Court on the grounds inter alia, that the learned Judge failed to apply the tests embodied in Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and that learned Judge ought to have considered that the marriage was registered by the Marriage Registrar according to law after due service of notice, which was corroborated by the testimony of D.W.-3 being the Marriage Officer.
It is urged on behalf of the appellant that the learned Judge should have considered the affidavit filed by the respondent on 18th January, 2013, wherein the ground of fraud in respect of financial and educational status of the appellant herein in obtaining consent was not pressed and as such there was no fraud played by the appellant.
It is contended that the certificate under Section 13 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 itself is solemnization of marriage, which does not require further performance of ceremony and so the learned Judge ought to have considered that performance of essential ceremonies was not required as required in case of marriage under Hindu Marriage Act in view of Section 15(1) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
We are unable to agree with the contention of the appellant that the evidence of P.W.-1 suggests a wilful refusal to consummate the marriage is attributable to the plaintiff/respondent as this fact cannot be lost sight of that the present respondent has expressed her unwillingness to be in the company of the present appellant even for a moment and has emphatically submitted in the course of reconciliation before us that by practising misrepresentation the appellant took her to his place where she was compelled to put signatures on certain documents.
The learned Judge observed that the alleged marriage was solemnized on 10.12.2008 and the suit was filed on 30.6.2009 and the respondent alleged that the marriage was not consummated. The learned counsel for the respondent submitted that she has undergone virginity test and she was placed before the Medical Board and the medical report Exbt.-5 reflects that she was not showing any sign of defloration i.e. she is virgin and not experienced sexual intercourse in ordinary course of nature.
In our view fraud denotes that if the consent to the marriage contract was obtained by fraud, then there is ground for an annulment of marriage and that fraud would be construed simply for not telling the truth in order to induce the other party to enter into the marriage contract. It is true that whether the failure to tell the truth will be a ground for annulment depends of the facts of the case. Now, we find from the evidence on record that the learned Judge has categorically observed on evidence of P.W.-1 taking into consideration the Exbt.-2 that the defendant claimed himself as Inter C.A. passed and B. Com. (H) from I.I.T., Kanpur and also claimed that his salary was Rs. 17,000/- per month and 50 + lakhs per annum, but the present appellant neither submitted any such documents to prove his qualification nor pay slip to prove his salary at the rate of Rs. 17,000/- per month.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick .
The learned Judge has relied on the decision reported in AIR 2001 Patna, Page-110 which is a case under Hindu Marriage Act (25 of 1955) under Section 12(1)(c) for declaration of marriage null and void wherein the ground taken was that consent of wife was obtained by fraud. It was disclosed to wife that the groom was Computer Engineer. She ignored the fact that he was lesser in age, than that of her, since he was Computer Engineer she had consented to the marriage. After marriage it came to her knowledge that her husband had failed thrice in I. Sc. and was not Computer Engineer. It was also observed that knowledge of bride’s father about said fact would be immaterial.
In the above set of facts the Hon’ble Court held the marriage liable to be declared as null and void. We are of the opinion that ratio of decision is well nigh within the facts and circumstances of the instant case and analogy has been rightly drawn by the learned Trial Court in coming to the finding that there has been a fraud perpetrated by the appellant upon the respondent in the matter of taking her to his house and to obtain signature document purported to be marriage certificate under Special Marriage Act.
It has been observed in a case reported in AIR 1993 M.P. 54 that mere certificate of registration under Section 15 of a Special Marriage Act would not validate the marriage in view of Section 24 (2) of the Act.
In the context above, we are of the considered opinion and hold that there is no ground to interfere into the impugned Judgment as there is no illegality or infirmity in the Judgment impugned.
Accordingly, the appeal is hereby dismissed, however, without any order as to costs.
Urgent certified photocopy of this Judgment and order, if applied for, be supplied to the parties upon compliance with all requisite formalities.
RAJIV SHARMA, J.
RAJIV SHARMA, J.
SHIVAKANT PRASAD, J.