Bombay High Court rejects wife’s marriage annulment claim saying she was drugged

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A petition for marriage annulment for fraud must be brought within a year of discovering such deception, the Bombay High Court has ruled, denying aid to a woman who claimed she was drugged and abducted on the place of her wedding in December 2011.

A dividing bench of Judges KR Shriram and Prithviraj Chavan observed that “no sane man would believe his statement” that an educated independent woman in a city like Mumbai, would remain silent and passive after being drugged with prasad, abducted from her office, married off and then brought back to the office on the following day.

“It is clear from the Appellant’s testimony that other than her mere words, there is absolutely no corroboration from any quarter in the form of evidence from her parents, siblings or employees of Union Bank of India, the court observed calling the woman’s whole story ipse dixitism.

The court dismissed allegations of extortion using his debit card in the absence of electronic evidence or sexual exploitation and unnatural sex.

“The Appellant’s overall evidence is improbable, incredible and unacceptable. No sane man would believe and accept her testimony as it is nothing but ipsedixism.”

The court dismissed the woman’s appeal as groundless and barred by statute of limitations. The woman had gone to the High Court after the Family Court refused to annul her marriage.

The High Court said that for a marriage to be voidable under Section 12(1)(c) of the Hindu Marriage Act, the petition for annulment must be brought within one year from of the date after the force (to marry) ceased to operate or , the date on which the fraud was discovered.

Section 12(1)(c) provides that a marriage is voidable if solemnized by force or fraud, the High Court observed.

And in this case, “The alleged fraud or force had indeed ceased to operate, by the time the appellant (wife) learned that she had been deceived into a temple by offering “prasad” enriched with certain drugs and that her signatures had been obtained on blank paper.

The court said his petition could have been filed for a year from that day – December 29, 2011.

This was the case of the woman she had known her husband since 2003. She was 15 at the time. He stalked her in her hometown of Bilaspur, made physical contact with her, took obscene pictures of her and threatened her. But she didn’t tell anyone.

Then the woman claimed that in 2010 her husband threatened to throw acid on her if she didn’t marry him. Finally, when she took a job in Mumbai, in 2011, the man called her outside his office, abducted her from his car giving her spiked prasad, after which she became helpless and a mute onlooker . Photos were taken and she was made to sign blank documents, she said.

The husband was not represented in court. However, the HC demolished the claim-by-claim wife theory.

We have given various examples and analyzed the Appellant’s case… only to expose the amazing caller story. Even for a moment we don’t get into the veracity and veracity of the appellant’s version in terms of its accuracy, we don’t understand why she did nothing and remained silent until 2017, that is to say almost for a period of six years,‘ observed the bench.

Case Title: Monika Narendra Sharma Vs. Mukeshkumar Ramnath Bhagal

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 245

Click here to read/download the judgment

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