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Vishwa (translator)     04 June 2009

Grounds for annulation of marriage


What are the admissible causes for annulation of marriage? I have already got good advice on the subject, I just want to add to my knowledge of the topic. After studying the replies (if there are any!) from the honourable readers, I sahll state my case in more detail


 20 Replies

A V Vishal (Advocate)     05 June 2009

Dear Vishwas,

Annualation of marriage under which Act, is it under the HMA or under SMA?

Vishwa (translator)     05 June 2009

 Thank you for your reply. As far as I know, it is Hindu Marriages Act, we were married in a temple according to Hindu rites and it was registered in local Katcheri.

Swami Sadashiva Brahmendra Sar (Nil)     05 June 2009



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What are the admissible causes for annulation of marriage? I have already got good advice on the subject, I just want to add to my knowledge of the topic. After studying the replies (if there are any!) from the honourable readers, I sahll state my case in more detail

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V.S.R.Deekshitulu (B.Sc, B.L)     05 June 2009


The question must be specific. However there are 3 sections in HMAct regarding the same. Sec. 11 speaks about void marriages. This section do not say about annulment of marriage. Sec. 13 is yet another section which speaks about the divorce. The only section is section 12 of the Act. which says about "annulment". Hence your case is covered under this section because it speaks about "annulment ". The other two sections deal with decree of divorce. Hence go thro in detail on thses sections and improve your knowledge, and in that event you need not go for advises. But state your case after seeing this reply. May be sour.

I hope you have understood the proposition.

Vishwa (translator)     05 June 2009


I will now come to the point. The background is that my wife is 20 years younger than me and we have lived together barely a few months. She started insulting me, humiliating me and beating me up in association with her daughter from previous marriage. I was chased out of my house with just the clothes I was wearing. The police did nothing to help me, to recover my personal belongings, passport etc. But I was lucky to escape with my life. 

Now the entire conspiracy is slowly coming to light. There is a local goon/neta and my wife was and still is the keep of this man. These two in association with others have been plotting together even before our marriage to grab my house. What I believed to love was only a cunning scam.

These persons believed that I could be coerced into selling my house (worth about 40 L) then take off with the money. This plan is foiled because I have escaped from their clutches. Another track is that I could be "persuaded" to transfer a part of the property as a compromise for divorce.

I am not interested in divorce, I am interested in recovering my house bought with the sweat of my brows. If I go for a divorce, she may end up keeping the house leaving me in the streets during my old age. If I get the marriage annuled, then she becomes a tresspasser and I can simply throw her out. This is the reason I am seeking an annulment of marriage.

On what grounds? Before marriage, she claimed she was a widow but in fact she was a divorcee, her husband having died after an uncontested divorce from his side. I told by a very kind lawyer activist that this is sufficient grounds for annulment and further she could be proescuted criminally for cheating. 

This is the background against which I am seeking the assistance of learned persons in this forum. Thank you in advance for all your replies.

A V Vishal (Advocate)     05 June 2009

Dear Vishwa:

In strict Legal terminology, annulment refers only to making a voidable marriage null; if the marriage is void ab initio, then it is automatically null, although a legal declaration of nullity is required to establish this.

Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. With the exception of bigamy and not meeting the minimum age requirement for marriage, it is rarely granted. A marriage can be declared null and void if certain legal requirements were not met at the time of the marriage. If these legal requirements were not met then the marriage is considered to have never existed in the eyes of the law. This process is called annulment. It is very different from divorce in that while a divorce dissolves a marriage that has existed, a marriage that is annulled never existed at all. Thus unlike divorce, it is retroactive: an annulled marriage is considered never to have existed.

Grounds For Annulment
The grounds for a marriage annulment may vary according to the different legal jurisdictions, but are generally limited to fraud, bigamy, blood relationship and mental incompetence including the following:
1) Either spouse was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage in question;
2) Either spouse was too young to be married, or too young without required court or parental consent. (In some cases, such a marriage is still valid if it continues well beyond the younger spouse's reaching marriageable age);
3) Either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage;
4) Either spouse was mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage;
5) If the consent to the marriage was based on fraud or force;
6) Either spouse was physically incapable to be married (typically, chronically unable to have s*xual intercourse) at the time of the marriage;
7) The marriage is prohibited by law due to the relationship between the parties. This is the "prohibited degree of consanguinity", or blood relationship between the parties. The most common legal relationship is 2nd cousins; the legality of such relationship between 1st cousins varies around the world.
8) Prisoners sentenced to a term of life imprisonment may not marry.
9) Concealment (e.g. one of the parties concealed a drug addiction, prior criminal record or having a s*xually transmitted disease)

Basis Of An Annulment
Point 1. I am presuming that the following conditions were satisfied: Further in your second reply you tell she is a divorcee, was it a legal divorce(approved by the court) at the time of the marriage or was the divorce proceedings in process. The non fullment can lead to annulation of the marriage.

(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;

(ii) neither party is an idiot or a lunatic at the time of the marriage;

(iii) the bridegroom has completed the age of eighteen years and the bride the age of fifteen years at the time of the marriage;

(iv) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;

(v) the parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;

(vi) where the bride has not completed the age of eighteen years, the consent of her guardian in marriage, if any, has been obtained for the marriage.


Point 2. : Going by the details of your query, I presume according to Hindu rites you meant the following rites were conducted

Ceremonies for a Hindu marriage.- (1) A Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.

(2) Where such rites and ceremonies include the Saptapadi (that is, the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

If the above points are considered then incase of a void marriage you can be granted annulment.


CS Pooja (Company Secretary)     05 June 2009

Appreciate your efforts, Mr. Vishal.

It is mentioned as:

8) Prisoners sentenced to a term of life imprisonment may not marry

What will be the fate of a case a prisoner escaped from the prison...gets married..for 5 years and has kids too... and after 5 years of marriage, he is caught again. (The wife didnt know about his background)

Will the marriage be annuled...and kids be illegitimate???

Wont it be considered that his wife married him in good faith....?? ( or will that be covered under fraud)

Also, cases like when a girl/ boy hid his age (that he was under age) and after a long time the same comes to light, will the mariage be annuled and kids declared illegitimate???

Also, if the husband n wife do not have any problem on any of the above grounds, then, can anybody else (say parents in law of girl/boy) can file a suit??

Experts,..comments requested...

A V Vishal (Advocate)     05 June 2009

Dear Pooja

Appreciate your query, but I think you missed the first line which says "In strict Legal terminology, annulment refers only to making a voidable marriage null" so in case of a voidable marriage, the spouse can seek it as a ground. There are so many prisoners in our country I think only for a few the stand that Prisoners sentenced to a term of life imprisonment may not marry is taken the proceedings, since there are still sati savithri's in our society.

Vishwa (translator)     06 June 2009


Dear Mr Vishal,

It is very kind of you to answer my query, I appreciate your efforts and am thankful to you. But it does not serve my purpose to have long extracts from law books referring to situations that are not applicable to my case.

I have stated my case concisely but very clearly and look to you for finding out what can be done to obtain relief. I think one has to get down from the general to the specifics and I can supply more details if one requires.

There is no need to confuse the issue with escaped prisoners and such like.

I have suffered great injustice at the hands of this neta and his keep and it is very painfult to see that persons in authority are supporting these crooks instead of assisting the victim.


Vishwa (translator)     06 June 2009

Thank you Mr Prabhakar, for taking an interest in my case. I feel I am at last getting somewhere.

I would like to clarify a couple of points in your message.

You say that I will have to pay maintenance to the wife and step daughter. But they have already looted all my household goods and sold them off. Moreover, the daughter is not mine, why should I pay anything to her when she has her father's property that she can claim?

Further, is it possible to launch criminal conspiracy proceedings against the wife and involving the  "neta" as well? In fact there was a clear attempt to kill me off by sending me to jail (my health is bad enough that I would die in jail) branding me as mentally crazy etc.

Lastly, can you give me an idea as to how long these proceedings are likely to take, even for obtaining an interim order? It will be in Uttarakhand courts. What is the level of fees that a normal lawyer may expect?

In my situation, I am deeply grateful for all help I receive. I can only say, from the bottom of my heart, God bless you Mr Prabhakar.

CS Pooja (Company Secretary)     06 June 2009

Very tactful answer, Mr. Prabhakar.

I guess Mr. Vishwa will have to pay maintenance for his step daughter after marriage, she is his daughter.

Vishwa (translator)     06 June 2009

 Dear Pooja,

You do not appear to be an expert in this field, so kindly refrain from showing off your ignorance. This young person can at the most be considered my step daughter and even so I am not obliged to pay her maintenance. It is her own father (or his estate) that is responsible for her. Moreover, she will soon be 18 and so can go and work someplace.

I may add that the mother and daughter are going around claiming that I tried to molest the little slut that is why they had to kick me out of my own house. If such is the case, why is the police not arresting me?  I have two grownup adopted daughters living in France, already grandfather and I am a wellrespected member of the community.


CS Pooja (Company Secretary)     06 June 2009

Dear Mr. Vishwa

Apologies if I have hurt you by any of my words.

But, at the same time, may I request you to consider that I am a law student, who is curious and hungry for more information and knowledge in the field we study them and LCA is a perfect field for students like us.

BTW, considering you as a grief stricken person, I just tried to help you by any means I could....

Experts (only experts) advice Mr. Vishwa

A V Vishal (Advocate)     06 June 2009

Dear Vishwa,

We know that you are pained and anguished at what has happened to you, but I remind you to kindly remember that this is a open forum and hence not use abusive or indecent language

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