Registration of Marriage Does Not Imply a Valid and Legal Marriage: Telangana High Court

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Facts of the case

The appeal was made in the High Court of Telangana about the Order dated 06.02.2013 passed by the Family Court, Secunderabad. The Petitioner, in this case, had claimed that she was the lawfully wedded wife of the deceased husband, A. Ram Das, a railway employee. Therefore, the Petitioner sought that she and her children out of the marriage should be categorized as the legal heirs of the deceased and to direct the Railway Department to release the pensionary and other benefits exclusive to them.

Arguments by the Petitioner

The learned counsel of the Petitioners had submitted that the Petitioner got married to A. Ram Das on 08.03.1976 and that her marriage was recorded in the Register of the Marriages. Additionally, her name was mentioned in the records of the Railway Department. Further, it was she and her son who had performed his last rites. It was produced that their marriage had taken place as per the Hindu rituals and the same was duly registered. The Marriage Certificate was produced, however, no witnesses were summoned. It was also pointed out by the learned counsel of the Petitioner that the family court had missed the fact that the Petitioner and her children were residing in the railway quarters assigned to the deceased at the time of service.

Arguments by the Respondent

The Respondent to prove her claim had examined herself and produced three other witnesses in the courtroom. A marriage invitation card, the Marriage Certificate, and the photographs taken during the wedding were also produced. She had submitted that her marriage with the deceased, A. Ram Das took place on 25.05.1972 at Yadagirigutta, in the presence of relatives. All the witnesses had confirmed their presence in the marriage.

Court’s Observation

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The Telangana High Court had observed that the marriage with the Respondent took place much prior in 1972 to the wedding with that of Petitioner in 1976. Also, there is no evidence of divorce in the first marriage, hence, the first marriage with the Respondent would be considered a valid marriage as per the Hindu Law. However, the son born out of the second marriage was declared as the legal heir of the deceased person’s property. To support its observation, the court had cited the following cases in which it was held that even if a Government servant had contracted a second marriage during the subsistence of his first marriage, the children born out of such second marriage would still be legitimate, though the second marriage itself would be void: Rameshwari Devi v. the State of Bihar (2000) 2 SCC 431, Vidhyadhari and others v. Sukhrana Bai and others (2008) 2 SCC 238, Jinia Keotin v. Kumar Sitaram Manjhi (2003) 1 SCC 730 and Neelamma v. Sarojamma(2006) 9 SCC 612. 

Court’s Judgement 

The Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court had held that the court did not find any patent error, illegality, or perversity in the impugned Order that deserves interference. Thereby, it had dismissed the appeal on the above-mentioned grounds.

 

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Click here to view the judgement.


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