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Wife’s Misrepresentation regarding Ability to Establish Business Not Grounds for Annulment

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LI Network

Published on: 22 September 2023 at 11:30 IST

A recent judgment by the Delhi High Court has clarified that a wife’s misrepresentation regarding her ability to establish a business does not constitute the kind of fraud or concealment that would allow her husband to seek an annulment of their marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The division bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna made this observation while rejecting a husband’s appeal against a family court’s decision to dismiss his petition for marriage annulment on the grounds of fraud committed by his wife under Section 12(1)(c) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

In the case at hand, the husband claimed that he had a love marriage with his wife at an Arya Samaj Mandir in 2019 without their parents’ knowledge. He alleged that the marriage had not been consummated, and the wife had absconded.

According to the husband, he was induced to marry under undue influence by his wife, who provided false information and falsely claimed to be in the beautician profession, similar to him. He also argued that his wife had assured him that they would jointly establish a beautician business in her property.

The court referred to the book “Mulla, in Principles of Hindu Law, 11th edition,” which states that marriage cannot be invalidated by claiming that the petitioner was induced to marry based on fraudulent statements related to family, fortune, caste, religion, age, or the character of the respondent.

The bench rejected the husband’s appeal, stating that the wife’s alleged misrepresentation was unrelated to the nature of the marriage ceremony and did not interfere with the marital life of the couple.

The court emphasized that since the husband and wife had known each other and entered into a love marriage, any representation made by the wife about her financial means for starting a business could not be considered fraud or concealment of a material fact justifying a decree of nullity.

Furthermore, the Family Court found that the husband had not presented any documentary or corroborative evidence to support his claims.

In conclusion, the court held that the husband had failed to establish that the wife’s alleged misrepresentation fell within the definition of misrepresentation or fraud as specified under Section 12(1)(c) of the Hindu Marriage Act. Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal for lacking merit.