Concealing Earlier Marriage While Entering Into Contract Of Marriage Amounts To Fraud By Itself: Kerala HC [Read Judgment]

Concealing Earlier Marriage While Entering Into Contract Of Marriage Amounts To Fraud By Itself: Kerala HC [Read Judgment]

We don't think it necessary for us to go into the correctness of the said divorce, as concealment of a vital fact for entering into a contract of marriage by itself amounts to fraud and the marriage can be declared as null and void.”

The Kerala High Court has observed that concealment of a vital fact about earlier marriage while entering into a contract of marriage by itself amounts to fraud and the marriage can be declared as null and void.

The bench of Justice AM Shaffique and Justice AM Babu was considering a man’s appeal against family court order dismissing his suit seeking a declaration that his marriage solemnized as per Muslim religious law is null and void. His case was that his wife was married to another person in the year 1989 as per Muslim law and they lived together as husband and wife. He also submitted that there was no divorce in accordance with Muslim law and without informing him about the earlier marriage and concealing the same her father and brothers had proposed their marriage and the nikah was conducted.

The family court had dismissed the suit on the ground that there was a divorce between the earlier couple and thus the present marriage is valid.

The bench quoting some precedents in this regard, said when a Muslim marriage is treated as a contract, if there is non-disclosure of vital fact or information or if there is deceit or misrepresentation or fraud in the matter relating to the essentials of a marriage, the said marriage will become voidable at the option of the person who suffers the deceit, fraud misrepresentation or non-disclosure as the case may be.

Referring to the evidence on record, the bench observed that the contention that earlier marriage was not informed to the plaintiff stands proved.

It said: “Once we have arrived at such a finding, it is rather clear that the plaintiff's claim for declaring the marriage as nullity is justifiable... We don't think it necessary for us to go into the correctness of the said divorce, as concealment of a vital fact for entering into a contract of marriage by itself amounts to fraud and the marriage can be declared as null and void.”

Read the Judgment Here