Bombay HC Upholds Family Court Verdict: Must Disclose Incurable Disease Before Marriage

It is mandatory to disclose an incurable disease to the party they might approach for a marriage proposal.
A division bench of Justices Vinay G. Joshi and Mahendra W. Chandwani directed a verdict in two appeals by the 24-year-old woman challenging a 2022 verdict of the family court. (Representational Image: Pixabay)
A division bench of Justices Vinay G. Joshi and Mahendra W. Chandwani directed a verdict in two appeals by the 24-year-old woman challenging a 2022 verdict of the family court. (Representational Image: Pixabay)

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court last month observed that if a girl or a boy of marriageable age suffers from an incurable disease before solemnizing their marriage and knows about it, it will be mandatory for her or him to disclose the same to the party they might approach for a marriage proposal.

The court made the observation while dismissing a petition by a woman seeking restitution of conjugal rights (to stay together). The couple started to live separately three months after their marriage in 2017.

The husband, whose plea to nullify his marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act was allowed, claimed his wife suffered from congenital ptosis, and her left eye remained open even while she was sound asleep due to a postoperative deformity. It was suppressed, and she played fraud with him. The court also mentioned that the case did not show any scope of reconciliation.

A division bench of Justices Vinay G. Joshi and Mahendra W. Chandwani directed a verdict in two appeals by the 24-year-old woman challenging a 2022 verdict of the family court.

The wife’s lawyer, A. S. Mardikar, stated that she had gone to her husband’s house after her marriage to lead a happy marital life, but on the contrary, she was harassed by him.

According to the appellant, her husband initially agreed but later refused to pay fees for her postgraduate studies. The appellant claimed that her husband dropped her off at her parents’ house and did not pay attention to her requests to continue living together, prompting her to approach the family court.

On the other hand, the husband’s lawyer, V. R. Deshpande, sought divorce on the grounds of cruelty and, in the alternative, to nullify the marriage over obtaining his consent for wedlock through fraud. The man alleged that he had been informed that the woman was physically and mentally fit to enter into marriage and had no ailment. However, after marriage, her incurable ailments were revealed. After the family court in December 2022 dismissed her request, the wife filed a plea in HC.

It added that if the husband or wife overlooks the alleged fraud and disregards it, the reconciliation can result in them living with full consent with another party to the marriage. (Representational Image: Pixabay)
It added that if the husband or wife overlooks the alleged fraud and disregards it, the reconciliation can result in them living with full consent with another party to the marriage. (Representational Image: Pixabay)

Justice Chandwani for the bench stated, “We are conscious of the fact that this would not materially interfere with a happy marital life, including sexual pleasure, but certainly if disclosed, would have resulted in the husband not agreeing or consenting to the marriage. It is, of course, another matter if a party becomes the victim of an incurable disease after the solemnization of the marriage. But if a girl or a boy, who is of marriageable age, suffers from an incurable disease before the solemnization of the marriage and knows about it, it would be necessary for her or him to disclose the said fact to the party that approaches him or her with a proposal for the marriage.”

It added that if the husband or wife overlooks the alleged fraud and disregards it, the reconciliation can result in them living with full consent with another party to the marriage.

The HC noted and mentioned that there was no error in the family court verdict. However, at the request of the woman seeking to challenge the judgment before the Supreme Court, the HC continued for four weeks the interim order directing the husband to maintain his current situation regarding his marital status, as another marriage would make the position irreversible.

(Input from various sources)

(Rehash/Komal Bhoi/MSM)

A division bench of Justices Vinay G. Joshi and Mahendra W. Chandwani directed a verdict in two appeals by the 24-year-old woman challenging a 2022 verdict of the family court. (Representational Image: Pixabay)
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