The Karnataka High Court has ruled that the marriage of a woman that has taken place before her attaining 18 years of age cannot be annulled. The bench also quashed the earlier order in this regard by a Family Court.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice P.B. Varale and Justice S. Vishvajith Shetty gave the order, while looking into the petition in this regard by a woman recently.
According to the Hindu Marriage Act Section 5 (3), the age of bridegroom should be 21 years and bride should be 18 years. The rule specifying 18 years of age for marriage is being kept out of Section 11 of the Act, the bench said. Besides for cancellation of marriage, the facts have to be in contravention to the Section 5 and rule 1, 4 and 5. Hence, the annulment of marriage won’t apply to this case, the bench said.
Petitioner Susheela from Mandya district had married Manjunath on June 15, 2012. Susheela was minor at the time of marriage. The husband came to know about this fact later and he submitted a petition to the Family Court demanding cancellation of his marriage.
The Family Court had accepted the petition and stated according to the Hindu Marriage Act the age has to be 18 years for the bride and at the time of marriage the age of the bride in this case was 16 years, 11 months and 8 days. The court had stated that the marriage won’t stand under the Section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
The order was given by the Family Court on January 8, 2015 regarding the cancellation of marriage. The wife, Susheela, had appealed against the order in the High Court.