Recently, in the judgment passed by the Supreme Court, the court has placed restrictions on the second marriage of a person and stated that provisions of Section 15 – Dismissal of an appeal would not be applicable, if both the parties have mutually settled the matter or if they have decided not to carry forward the appeal.
The Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act clearly provides protection to a person who has filed the case for the decree of divorce.
The matter was placed in the Supreme Court before the bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara. The bench was also of the view that Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides a restriction on the second marriage till the dismissal of the appeal would not be applicable to the parties who have already decided and settled the matter.
Brief Facts of the case are:
- The first marriage of the petitioner was dissolved by the order of the Family Court against which the first wife filed an appeal before the High Court. The appeal was dismissed by the way of settlement through the process of Mediation and an application of such withdrawal was filed by the husband. Between the period of such application and Court declaring the dismissal, the man got married to his second wife.
- The appeal was filed and was brought before the Registrar of the High Court. Later on observing the facts, that the matter was already settled in the Mediation Centre, the matter was not further proceeded by the High Court.
- Later, the second marriage of the person was also declared as null and void as he married another woman when his appeal for withdrawal of decree of divorce was still pending in the court.
Following questions were raised by the Apex court in the matter and reference of cases was also given:
- Whether the dismissal of the appeal relates back to the days of the filing of the application for withdrawal?
- Whether the marriage dated 06.12.2011 between the Appellant and Respondent during the pendency of the appeal against the decree of divorce is void?
“Section 15 was clearly explained when a person can marry again? – When a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the decree or, if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party o the marriage to marry again.”
Further reference was given from the case of Lila Gupta vs. Laxmi Narain, where the person contracted the second marriage with Lila before the expiry of one year from the decree of divorce.
Hence, the second marriage is also declared as void and conditions have been placed on Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
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