12. Void able marriages
(1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before of after the commencement of this Act, shall be voidable and maybe annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely.-
[(a) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the impotence of the respondent ; or]
(b) that the marriage is in contravention of the condition specified in clause (ii) of section 5;or
(b) that the consent of the petitioner, or where the consent of he guardian in marriage of the petitioner [was required under section 5 it stood immediately before the commencement of the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act, 1978(2 of 1978)], the consent of such guardian was obtained by force [or by fraud as to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstance concerning the respondent ] ;or
(d) that the respondent was at the time of the marriage pregnant by some person other than the petitioner.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub section(1), no petition annulling a marriage-
(a) on the ground specified in clause (c) of sub section(1), shall be entertained if -
(i) the petition is presented more than one year after the force had ceased to operate or, as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered ;or
(ii) the petitioner has, with his or her full consent, lived with the other party to the marriage as husband or wife after the force had ceased to operate or, as the case may be the fraud had been discovered.
(b) on the ground special in clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall be entertained unless the court is satisfied-
(i) that the petitioner was at the time of marriage ignorant of the facts alleged.;
(ii) that proceedings have been instituted in the case of a marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act within one year of such commencement and in the case of marriage solemnized after such commencement within one year from the date of the marriage; and
(iii) that marital intercourse with the consent of the petitioner has not taken place since the discovery by the petitioner of the existence of [the said ground]
Where the petition for annulment of marriage is filed after 8 years of marriage, such a petition would be barred by time-Sarlabai V.Komal Singh AIR 1991 MP 358.Selectin of bride with total knowledge as regards her defects would serve as estoppel from arguing that marriage was tainted with fraud.-Ruby Roy v. Sudarsan Roy 1988 Cal.210.
Where mental disorder of the wife was the ground for obtaining divorce, there cannot be a challenge to the grant of alimony on the ground that mental disorder was in existence prior to the marriage and therefore the marriage was voidable under s. 12(1)(b) -Mukesh Mathur V.Veena Mathur AIR 1989 Raj 97.
Where the annulment is sought on the ground of fraud, details which the professional match makers supply bear no relevancy as the parties are at liberty to verify the facts.-Deepayan Chatterjee V.Papiya Chatterjee 1990 (1)HLR 113