Team  SoOLEGAL

'NO PERIOD OF LIMITATION TO SEEK DECLARATION THAT A MARRIAGE IS VOID' HOLDS SUPREME COURT

Team SoOLEGAL 1 Jan 1970 5:30am

'NO PERIOD OF LIMITATION TO SEEK DECLARATION THAT A MARRIAGE IS VOID' HOLDS SUPREME COURT

The couple married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. But later it was discovered by the wife that her husband had committed bigamy. He married her without being legally divorced with his wife. At the time of his marriage with the petitioner, he was having a living spouse and he had concealed this fact from him.

Aggrieved by the act of the husband, she approached the District Court, Pune under Section 25 of the 1954 Act. The relief which she sought from the Court was that their marriage be declared as null and void.

But her plea was dismissed by the Trial Court on the ground that the facts narrated by the petitioner do not form a valid ground for declaring the marriage as null and void under Section 25 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Her appeal was rejected by the Bombay High Court too. Aggrieved by the Court's conduct (on the case), an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court bench allowed her appeal and noted that according to Section 4 of the Act of 1954, the marriage between any two persons may be solemnized if at the time of the marriage neither party has a spouse living.

The Court referred to Section 24 as under:

"Section 24 of the Act provides that any marriage solemnized under the Special Marriage Act shall be null and void and may, on a petition presented by either party thereto against the other party, be so declared by a decree of nullity if any of the conditions specified in clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Section 4 has not been fulfilled. Clause (a) of Section 4 provides that neither party shall have a spouse living at the time of marriage. Therefore, considering Section 24 read with Section 4 of the Act, if at the time of marriage either of the party has spouse living, then the said marriage is a void marriage and a decree of nullity can be passed on a petition presented by either party thereto against the other party." 

Thus, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah held that no period of Limitation is required to seek declaration that a marriage is void.

Tagged: SpecialMarriageAct   Marriage   NullAndVoid   JusticeNageswaraRao   JusticeMRShah  
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