The Bombay High Court has refused to annul the marriage of a 33-year-old woman, who claimed that she was forced to marry the man and was physically assaulted and tortured by him since she was 14 years old.
A division bench of Justices K R Shriram and P K Chavan, in their order, noted that there was no evidence or corroboration to the woman's claims and the overall evidence of the appellant was "improbable, unbelievable and unacceptable".
The order was passed on June 15 and a copy of the same was made available on Tuesday.
"No sane man would believe and accept her (appellant woman) testimony, as it is nothing but ipsedixitism (assertion without proof or dogmatic expression of opinion). It is quite apparent from the evidence that this is a case of inflicted insight," the court observed.
The high court, while dismissing her plea, termed as "incredible" the fact that the woman did not lodge any complaint against the man or inform her parents about the same till 2013.
"Strangely, the appellant (woman) remained silent and passive despite undergoing such a trauma," the order said.
The bench also noted that the behaviour of the woman was "quite strange" and "cannot be said as a natural conduct of an educated woman living independently in a city like Mumbai".
The woman, in her plea, sought annulment of the marriage and a declaration that the marriage certificate issued to the man in December 2011 was false and forged.
According to the woman, who is originally from Haryana and presently working with a bank in Mumbai, the man took advantage of her shy, timid and introverted nature and kept her terrorised since she was 14 years old.
The petitioner claimed that she hails from a rural background, where women and their voices are stifled, and honour killings, rape and other crimes against women are a daily feature due to which families advise their women to silently face oppression.
The woman further alleged that she had never married the man and the documents with regard to the marriage certificate submitted by the man are fabricated.
In December 2011, she was offered sweets laced with drugs and forcibly taken to a temple by the man and was forced to sign documents related to marriage certificate.
According to the woman, in 2003 when she was 14 years old the man had forcibly established physical contact with her and took obscene photographs and has since been torturing and physically assaulting her.
The woman lodged a complaint against the man with the suburban Goregaon police in 2013 on the charged of rape and criminal intimidation, but had not followed up with the case.
In 2017, the woman approached the family court seeking to annul the marriage, which was rejected, following which she moved the high court.
The high court bench noted that it cannot believe the claims of the woman that she was forcibly taken by the man and given sweets laced with drugs.
"It is unfathomable as to why she did not disclose the incidents to her friends or colleagues, who could have taken some effective steps by approaching the police or at least their superiors at work. Such behaviour of the appellant is quite strange and cannot be said to be a natural conduct of an educated woman living independently in a city like Mumbai. No sane man will believe and accept her statement," the court said.
The bench further noted that it fails to understand why the woman remained silent from 2011 (when she realised that she was allegedly abducted and given spiked sweets) till 2017 when she sought to annul the marriage.
The high court in its order noted that as per the Hindu Marriage Act, a marriage may be annulled on the ground that the consent of one of the parties (either man or woman) was obtained by force or fraud, but the same is barred by limitation (plea seeking annulment of marriage has to be filed within a limited period of time).
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