LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Ramanathan G (Independent practice)     05 December 2011

Elopment and illegal marriages

Elopment and illegal marriages

Head notes to the case had been written by G.Ramanathan, Advocate; copy right is owned by M/s Capital Law Infotech, Delhi. Given for reading to Members of Lawyers club India, to help them think twice prior to elopement and marriage.

1992 Legal Eagle MP page = AIR 1993 MADHYA PRADESH 54
 Coram : 1 V. D. GYANI, J. ( Single Bench )
Sanjay Mishra, Petitioner v. Miss Eveline Jobe, Respondent.
First Appeal No. 118 of 1991, D/- 4 -11 -1992.
Specific Relief Act, 1963, Section 34 – Marriage – Declaration and injunction – That no marriage had taken place between parties and Certificate is null and void – Territorial jurisdiction to file this suit – Not based on the Office which issued Certificate of Marriage, because suit is filed to declare that certificate is invalid – Place of residence of the parties confers jurisdiction to the Court – (Note: if the husband had to file that case in the Matrimonial Courts, under Special Marriage Act, 1954; at first she could have filed application for Maintenance and Litigation expenses – Editor):
Held:- As an off shoot of these proceedings he also filed a civil suit in the Court of District Judge, Indore, seeking a declaration to the effect that no marriage took place between the plaintiff and the respondent, coupled with the prayer that the certificate of marriage dated 1-3-86 issued by the Marriage Officer, Calcutta and 24 Pargana was null and void and the registration of the said marriage was of no effect. The appellant has detailed the circumstances under which he was forced to sign the marriage application form under threat and intimidation in the Court of the Marriage Officer, Calcutta and 24 Pargana; although as a matter of fact no marriage as such had ever taken place between the two. (Para 2).
Jurisdiction with reference to the subject-matter of the dispute as distinguished from local jurisdiction means jurisdiction with reference to the nature of the claim made by the plaintiff. A right to specific relief such as a right to declaration or injunction u/S. 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 is undoubtedly a suit of a civil nature entertainable by Civil Courts and the Courts have power to grant such a decree. (Para 12).

Administrative Law – Marriage Officer – Territorial jurisdiction – Husband alleged that, wife obtained his signature upon the Marriage application through illegal means, thus Certificate is invalid – At that time parties were residing at Hugli Distt – Marriage Officer was appointed for Calcutta and 24 Pargana, which is different than Hugli Distt – Wife did not plead and prove that, said Officer had jurisdiction upon Hugli Distt also – Certificate is invalid upon the parties – Section 30 Special Marriage Act, 1954. 
Held:- Now coming to the question of effectiveness of marriage certificate Ex. P.1, issued by the Marriage Officer of Calcutta and 24 Parganas District under the Spl. Act, it was contended on behalf of the appellant that this certificate is not at all effective. It is an admitted position that the appellant had gone for training at the factory of Hindustan Motors and was residing at Uttarpada in Hugli District. Keeping aside the question of whether the short stay of appellant for the specific and avowed purpose of training at Hindustan Motors, Uttarpada, Hugli, would fall within the meaning of the term 'residing', taking the pleaded case of the parties that they resided at Uttarpada in District Hugli on its face value yet the certificate issued by the marriage officer for District of Calcutta and 24 parganas, cannot be said to be effective in view of Clause (f) of S. 15 of the Spl. Act, which provides that the parties should have been residing within the district of the Marriage Officer for a period of not less than 30 days; immediately preceding the date on which the application is made to him for registration of marriage. (Para 25).
It cannot be gainsaid that Hugli is one of the 17 Districts of State of West Bengal having its District Head Quarter at Chinsura. The marriage Officer issuing the certificate, as is evident from Ext. P. l is appointed for District of Calcutta and 24 Parganas. There is no reference to or mention of Hugli District. It is an admitted position that Uttarpada is in Hugli District. Dealing with this question, the trial Court has found the Issue No. 4(a) is not proved. On the basis of admitted fact that parties lived in Uttarpada District Hugli. The reasoning of the trial Court that plaintiff has failed to adduce any evidence as regards appointment of Special Marriage Officer in the District of Hugli, cannot be accepted. Applying Clause (f) of S. 15 of the Spl. Act, to the admitted facts of the case, the Marriage certificate Ex. P. 1 which relates only to the districts of Calcutta and 24 Parganas, cannot be held to be effective for the District of Hugli. Although S. 2(d) of the Spl. Act read with S. 3(1), provides for the appointment of Marriage Officer for whole or any part of the State, the respondent has not placed on record or brought to my notice any such notification appointing the marriage officer for the district of Calcutta or 24 Parganas, as Marriage Officer for the District of Hugli as well. In this view of the matter the registration certificate, Ex. P. 1 which is heavily relied upon by the respondent for proof of marriage, cannot be held to be effective. (Paras 26 to 27).


 0 Replies

Leave a reply

Your are not logged in . Please login to post replies

Click here to Login / Register