A compromise not to interfere in each other’s life does not dissolve first marriage; second marriage held void

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of G.S. Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, JJ. dismissed an appeal filed under Section 19 of Family Courts  Act, 1984 challenging the order of Principal Judge whereby the marriage between the parties was declared null void.

The husband filed a petition under Section 12 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 against the wife seeking a declaration that the marriage between the parties be declared null and void. The ground taken being that on the date of marriage, the wife already had a living spouse. The petition disclosed that the wife had married one Manoj Kumar; and with the intervention of respectable persons of the society, an agreement to dissolve the marriage was reduced into writing and signed by respective father of the parties. The Principal Judge allowed the petition and the marriage between husband and wife was declared null and void under Section 11. Aggrieved thus, the wife preferred the instant appeal. Counsel appearing for the wife submitted that the first marriage was dissolved as per customs and thus the order impugned was liable to be set aside.

The High Court perused the record. It was noticed that the document so executed, as aforementioned, was a compromise with effect that either of the parties would not interfere in the life of the other in future. The Court was of the view that submission made by the counsel for the wife could not be accepted in light of Section 11 (void marriages) read with Section 5 (conditions for a Hindu marriage). Furthermore, the document so executed did not bear signature of the parties but of their respective father. In view of the express bar under Section 5(i), the Court found no infirmity in the order impugned. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed. [Meenakshi Sharma v. Ravi Kumar,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10379, dated 09-07-2018]

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