My mother and father got married in 1982 as per the Sikh rituals. After few months it was revealed that my father was already married to another woman earlier and has a daughter from her. Upon this disclosure, my father’s family claimed that his first wife was a patient of Parkinson disease and has given consent for the second marriage of my father. That woman (my father’s first wife) did not live with my father and eventually died in 1987 in an accident. During this course I was born in 1984. My mother accepted my step sister as a part of the family and we all lived a normal life.
When my step sister attained the age of 20, she eloped with her boyfriend and got married against the wish of my deceased father. We did not have any family ties with her for few years. In 2002, issues were sorted and family re-united. My father, being a chronic diabetes patient, died in October 2006 after a long ailment. In May 2007, my step sister filed a suit claiming that she is the rightful owner of the house in which we are living (only property of my deceased father, inherited from my grandfather as a portion of the house that was equally divided between 2 more brothers of my father). Additionally she demanded vacant possession and a rent of INR 10,000/- per month till the time possession is not handed over to her.
In due course of case, my mother also settled pending financial liabilities of my deceased father (loan and OD from bank and a litigation pertaining to payment of due amount resulting from dissolution of partnership deed between my deceased father and his former business partner).
Last month District Court pronounced its judgment in which the residential property was equally divided between me and my step sister. Her claim for rent was disposed off. My mother’s marriage was considered a void hence she was not entitled to any share.
My queries are-
1. 1. Why the marriage of my mother was considered void even when the first wife of my father died in 1987?
2. 2. Under what provision can my mother claim her right in the property she has been living since 32 years?
3. 3. How should we proceed forward with the appeal in Sessions Court?