Court grants divorce but refuses to declare marriage nullity

A man nominating a woman as his wife in an insurance policy is not a valid evidence to prove that he was married to her, a Delhi court has ruled.

New Delhi: A man nominating a woman as his
wife in an insurance policy is not a valid evidence to prove
that he was married to her, a Delhi court has ruled.

Additional District Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri gave
this ruling while refusing a Delhi woman`s plea to declare her
marriage a nullity, on the ground that her marriage to the man
never came into being as he was already married to the woman
whom he had nominated as his wife in his insurance policy.

"Although, it is proved that respondent had nominated
another woman as his wife in his LIC policy, it is not proved
that she was his legally wedded wife," the court ruled,
refusing the plea by the woman living in Khanpur village in
south Delhi.

Refusing to declare her marriage with the man a
nullity, the court, however, acceded her plea to grant her
divorce from the man on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.

The court issued the decree of divorce for the woman
last week, saying that her husband wilfully deserted her and
did not even respond to the court`s notice on woman`s plea for

It also noted that the man had been demanding dowry
from the woman`s parent to expand his business.

"It is well established that it was the respondent,
who left matrimonial house without any reason and did not join
the petitioner," the court said.

"Similarly, giving beatings without any reason under
the influence of liquor and demanding cash like Rs 2 lakh to
improve the business, amounts to cruelty," the court said.

The court`s order came on a divorce petition by the
woman, who was married on June 21, 2007 according to Hindu
rites and customs.

She had moved the court seeking divorce on grounds of
cruelty and wanted the court to declare her marriage a nullity
under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Act says that second marriage during the
subsistence of the first one is illegal and null.

She had relied upon her husband`s LIC policy, in which
he had nominated another woman as his wife.

The woman in her plea for divorce had alleged that her
husband had been harassing and subjecting her to mental
torture from the very first day of their marriage.

She was asked to bring Rs 2 lakh to expand his
business, she alleged in her petition, adding that when her
father expressed his inability to pay the amount, she was
beaten mercilessly.

She also added that her husband was an alcoholic and
used to return home at midnights in inebriated condition.

The woman said she was beaten by him even when she
objected to her drinking habits. When she objected to his
ways, she was beaten up on July 31, barely a month after the
marriage. She was also thrown out of the matrimonial house.
She added that her husband left home on August 18 for
his shop but never returned.