HC junks woman’s plea for marriage annulment to ‘rapist’ husband | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC junks woman’s plea for marriage annulment to ‘rapist’ husband

Jul 05, 2022 07:21 PM IST

The woman had moved the family court for annulment of marriage claiming that it was performed under duress and by perpetuating fraud

Mumbai The Bombay high court has dismissed an appeal filed by a 34-year-old Byculla resident for annulment of her marriage, claiming that her husband had ravished her when she was in Class X and thereafter, continued to harass and sexually exploit her, eventually forcibly married her after giving her some ‘prasad’ laced with sedatives.

She claimed that her husband, a 37-year-old Bilaspur resident, had ravished her in January/February 2003 and had also taken her obscene photographs (HT File)
She claimed that her husband, a 37-year-old Bilaspur resident, had ravished her in January/February 2003 and had also taken her obscene photographs (HT File)

“We are afraid we cannot believe such evidence of the appellant…it is difficult to accept the same to be a truthful version of the incident,” the division bench of justice KR Shriram and justice PK Chavan said while dismissing her appeal for annulment.

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She had moved the high court challenging the September 7, 2021 order of the Family Court at Bandra by which her petition under section 12(1)(c) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, for annulment of marriage on the ground that it was performed by exerting force and perpetuating fraud was dismissed.

The woman had moved the family court for annulment of marriage claiming that it was performed under duress and by perpetuating fraud. She claimed that her husband, a 37-year-old Bilaspur resident, had ravished her in January/February 2003 and had also taken her obscene photographs.

Thereafter, she claimed, the man continued to stalk her and followed her wherever she went to study and later work with the Punjab National Bank. She claimed he also sexually exploited her by threatening to make her obscene pictures public and by hurting her family members. Later, she said, he went on to abuse and assault her in the presence of her colleagues and friends.

She said that on November 28, 2011, when she was posted at Dhanora branch of the public sector bank, her husband called her office landline number and asked her to meet him outside. She said she reluctantly went out to meet him, as he had threatened to create a scene inside the branch, if she failed to go out.

She said thereafter he gave her some ‘prasad’ laced with drugs. She was then taken to a temple where her husband clicked her pictures in presence of his friends to make a show of a marriage and also took her signatures on some blank papers, which were later used to obtain the marriage registration certificate, she added.

She had sought annulment of the marriage, claiming that it was performed without her consent. HC, however, refused to believe her story.

The bench wondered as to ‘how she readily accepted the prasad and ate it despite being forcibly taken away’ and why she remained silent for such a long time. “It is unfathomable as to why she did not disclose the incident to her friends or colleagues who could have definitely taken some effective steps by approaching the police or at least to the superior officers,” said the bench.

“Such behaviour of appellant is quite strange and cannot be said to be natural conduct of a woman who is not only major but qualified as Masters in Science and serving independently in a city like Mumbai. No sane man will believe and accept her statement,” HC added.

Besides, the court also took into consideration the limitation of a year under section 12(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for filing a petition for annulment of marriage on the ground of use of force or fraud.

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