An Analysis of Nullification of Marriage

Marriage is essentially the premise of social association and the establishment of significant lawful rights and commitments. It is a social organization that formalizes and balances out the joining between a man and a spouse. On occasion, both of the gatherings experiencing the agreement of marriage may ask it to be pronounced invalid and void. Lawful specialists and Psychiatrists might be brought in to give a conclusion about whether such a marriage ought to be dissolved. In Hindu Law, Marriage is treated as a samaskara or a sacrament. Separation anyway is a prickly inquiry and Annulment is a bizarre cure. In our cutting edge world, and Annulment will, in general, be more an animal of religion than of law. Dissolutions are once in a while conceded, and when they are, quite certain conditions must exist. This paper deals with the broad topic of nullification of marriage in an Indian scenario and also aims at its various implications.

“Marriage is primarily an economic arrangement, an insurance pact. It differs from an ordinary life insurance agreement only in that it is more binding, more exacting.”

Emma Goldman


Marriage is a social establishment that sets out the guidelines and guidelines characterizing the rights, obligations, and benefits of the couple. It is regularly considered as a legally binding understanding which formalizes and balances out the social relationship that involves a family. Marriage not just gives social acknowledgement to man and the spouse, yet additionally spreads out desires for practices and doing obligations. Marriage assumes a significant job in purifying the job of multiplication, and thus such associations are solemnized through the social endorsement of the custom. 

As relationships become unpleasant, the therapists and lawful specialists are brought in to give sentiment whether the marriage is economical and whether at all, the marriage was legitimate in the first place. At this point, two particular related terms which require consideration in this setting are ‘separation’ and ‘nullity of marriage’. Separation alludes to the lawful disintegration of a legitimate marriage when the relationship can’t proceed. Conditions winning throughout conjugal life decide the continuation of the connection between the accomplices. Renunciation, remorselessness, infidelity, and psychological maladjustment may meddle with conjugal life and might be the reason for separation. Nullity of marriage, then again, implies that the marriage is held invalid and void, that is the marriage is legitimately non-existent, and a substantial marriage didn’t occur by any stretch of the imagination. While separate identifies with the manageability of marriage, nullity alludes to the legitimacy of the equivalent.

Laws Governing Nullity Of Marriage in India   

A few laws decide the nullity of marriage in India. These are talked about as follows:

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (Amended In 1976)

This law considers a marriage is a legitimate one if neither one of the parties is a simpleton or a neurotic at the hour of marriage. From a mental viewpoint, a Hindu marriage is voidable as per this law if either party:

  • Is unequipped for giving a substantial assent as a result of unsoundness of the brain or
  • Even though equipped for giving a legitimate assent has been experiencing mental confusion of such a sort or to such a degree as to be ill-suited for marriage and the reproduction of kids, or
  • Has been dependent upon repetitive assaults of craziness. In the previously mentioned three conditions, the marriage can be held invalid and void. Furthermore, if the marriage has not been culminated because of the weakness of the respondent, the marriage can be viewed as invalid and void. Additionally, the marriage can be viewed as invalid and void if that the assent of the watchman was acquired forcibly or by misrepresentation; or the respondent was at the hour of the marriage pregnant by some individual other than the applicant.
  • In Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, there are a few conditions set down for a Hindu Marriage which must be satisfied if there should arise an occurrence of any marriage between two Hindus which can be solemnized as per the necessities of this Act.
  • Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 states that the court can build uprights and commitments identified with the kids from such relationships. Youngsters from a revoked marriage are legitimate.

Special Marriage Act (1954)

This law is material to people from any religion experiencing a common marriage. Marriage as per this law can be dissolved if:

  • Either party has a living companion at the hour of marriage;
  • Either party is unequipped for giving a substantial agree to it in the result of unsoundness of psyche, or has been experiencing mental confusion of such a sort or to such a degree as to be unsuitable for marriage and the reproduction of kids; or has been dependent upon repetitive assaults of madness or epilepsy;
  • The male has not finished the age of 21 years and the female the age of 18 years;
  • The gatherings are inside the degrees of precluded relationship. Also, a marriage can be viewed as invalid and void if the respondent was inept at the hour of the marriage and the hour of the foundation of the suit.

Indian Divorce Act (1869) For Christians (Amended in 2001)

  • A marriage can be held invalid and void if the respondent was feeble at the hour of marriage and the hour of the organization of the suit; or
  • The gatherings are inside the disallowed degrees of connection (regardless of whether normal or legitimate) or liking, or either party was an insane person or simpleton at the hour of the marriage; or
  • The previous spouse or wife of either party was inhabiting the hour of the marriage and the marriage with such previous husband or wife was then in power. There is no arrangement in this represent the ground that the assent of either party was gotten forcibly or extortion.

Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (1939) and Muslim Personal Law

The law for Muslims recommends that an individual of the unsound brain can’t get a marriage and such a marriage whenever contracted is void. Notwithstanding, if the gatekeeper of the individual of unsound psyche believes such union with be to his greatest advantage and in light of a legitimate concern for society and is eager to take up all the money related commitments of the marriage, at that point such a marriage can be performed and might be viewed as substantial.

Parsi Marriage Act (1936)

The law expresses that regardless of which fulfilment of the marriage from common causes is outlandish, such marriage may, at the occasion of either party be announced to be invalid and void. Unsoundness of the brain isn’t a ground for abrogation as indicated by Parsi Marriage Act.


The reason for a marriage annulment/revocation may fluctuate as per the distinctive lawful locales, yet are commonly constrained to extortion, polygamy, blood relationship and mental inadequacy including the accompanying:

  • Either life partner was at that point wedded to another person at the hour of the marriage being referred to;
  • Either life partner was too youthful to be in any way hitched, or excessively youthful without required court or parental assent. (At times, such a marriage is as yet legitimate if it proceeds with well past the more youthful life partner’s arriving at eligible age);
  •  Either life partner was affected by medications or liquor at the hour of the marriage;
  • Either companion was intellectually bumbling at the hour of the marriage;
  • If they agree to the marriage depended on extortion or power;
  •  Either companion was truly inadequate to be hitched (commonly, incessantly unfit to have sex) at the hour of the marriage;
  • The marriage is disallowed by law because of the connection between the gatherings. This is the “denied level of affiliation”, or blood connection between the gatherings. The most widely recognized lawful relationship is second cousins; the legitimateness of such connection between first cousins fluctuates the world over.
  •  Prisoners condemned to a term of life detainment may not marry.
  • Concealment (for example one of the gatherings disguised a chronic drug use, earlier criminal record, or having an explicitly transmitted sickness).

Case laws

The following are some of the case laws which support the above statutory provisions related to the nullity of marriage in India. They are:

Case 1: Anima Roy v. Prabadh Mohan Roy (AIR 1969, Cal 304)

In this case, the respondent was seen as experiencing schizophrenia 2 months after marriage. The specialist who analyzed the respondent couldn’t decide the specific time of the beginning of the sickness. Subsequently, it was held that the ailment at the hour of marriage was not demonstrated. Consequently, the nullity was not conceded.

Case 2: Kartik Chandra v. Manju Rani (AIR 73, Cal 545)

The respondent showed unusual conduct following three days of marriage. The respondent had shown up for her registration test three months preceding the assessment. Attentive of the above detail, the court assumed that this condition of mental stability proceeded till her marriage and the ongoing breakdown was not seen as lunacy at the hour of marriage.

Case 3: Gurnam Singh v. Chad Kaur (Punjab High Court, 1980)

The Court held that a determination of schizophrenia just settled the presence of a psychological issue. For an announcement of nullity, it was fundamental to demonstrate that the sickness rendered the respondent unequipped for marriage and the multiplication of youngsters. The respondent was an informed person who had brought forth a little girl. Even with this reality, however, the presence of mental issues was set up, the court would not invalidate the marriage since insufficiency ensuing to the confusion was not demonstrated.

Case 4: C. J. Delight v. Shilly, (Kerala High Court, 1995)

The respondent began displaying indications of psychological maladjustment inside 4 days of the marriage for no particular explanation. It was closed the respondent was a crazy person at the hour of marriage, yet additionally that the assent of the candidate was acquired by misrepresentation. A solitary adjudicator of the Court had held that nullity on the ground of extortion couldn’t be gotten in Christian Law. This decision had been turned around by a division seat of the court.

Case 5: Kollam Padmalatha Vs. Kollam Chandrasekhar (Supreme Court, 2000)

The Court in this case decided that spouses can’t be dumped on the grounds of schizophrenia. The court thought that schizophrenia is a treatable, reasonable illness, which can be put on a standard with hypertension and diabetes. The court saw that disease has its issues, yet would this be able to be a purpose behind looking for the disintegration of marriage, particularly after a kid is conceived? The court expressed that the spouse additionally should adhere to treatment design and show signs of improvement.

In the abovementioned cases, the court’s sentiment remains that the individual ought to have the ability to comprehend the agreement of marriage and the obligations and duties involved by it. Indeed, even where the respondent was seen as odd in intellectual ability, slow to comprehend convoluted inquiries, yet ready to offer significant responses to straightforward inquiries and could oversee herself and every one of her undertakings in her basic manner, it was held that individual could get hitched and adapt to the commitments of conjugal life.

Annulment Process and its effects

Since no-shortcoming divorce is promptly accessible, marriage revocation isn’t normal. To get a dissolution, an individual first needs to meet the residency necessities of the express that they live in. The jurisdictional necessities are like those required for disintegration or separation: one of the gatherings should live in the state where the marriage dissolution is petitioned for a ceaseless ninety-day time span. Like a separation recording, the marriage cancellation case continues with a documenting, request, summons, and subordinate reports. A cancellation case can be started by either the spouse or the wife in the marriage. The justification for marriage abrogation is expressed in the appeal. The revocation methodology is like that of a standard separation. A separation can be significantly more confused than an invalidation.

Abrogating a marriage essentially deletes it from the records, as though it never occurred. The consequence of a marriage revocation is an announcement that the marriage never existed. It invalidates the marriage, restoring the gatherings to their earlier single status.

It’s a typical misguided judgment that short relationships can be revoked, yet the length of the marriage isn’t a passing element. Commonly, cancellations happen after short relationships, so there is no compelling reason to partition resources or obligations or choose the authority of youngsters created by marriage. On account of a more drawn out marriage that is revoked, the court will partition the property of the gatherings.


A dissolution is a lawful technique which drops a marriage between a man and a lady. Repealing a marriage is like it is eradicated – lawfully, it pronounces that the marriage never in fact existed and was rarely legitimate. However, the society gazes at a broken relationship or marriage with a pitying eye yet a suspicious one simultaneously doubting upon the individual’s character. But in the end, it all depends upon the person’s compatibility and mentality as to how he/she bears with that feeling. And every prudent person would choose to live a  single happy life over a disheartened and unsuccessful married life. It depends upon the individual on how he wants to lead his life, and society should have no grievances in that. But with the changing times and mentality/mindsets of people and society, a gradual yet drastic change is evident in this regard.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What do you mean by the term ‘nullification of marriage’?
  2. What are the statutory provisions and acts involved in the implementation of the ‘nullification of marriage’?
  3. What are the Indian case laws involved which would relate to this topic?
  4. What is the Annulment of marriage, and what are its effects?


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