|Date of Filing
|Saraswati through her Father Manraj
The present petition was filed by Saraswati Kumar, a minor aged 13 years seeking annulment of her marriage under Section 3 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (PCMA) as it was solemnized when she was a minor and she was forcefully taken away from the custody of her parents. The petition was filed by her father and guardian.
In the present case, the Petitioner was merely 12 years old when she was abducted by one Lokesh, a resident of the same area where the Petitioner was residing with her parents, and the Respondent in the present case. The Respondent then forcibly performed a marriage ceremony with the minor Petitioner as per Hindu rites. Subsequently, another ceremony was performed in the presence of the petitioner’s parents, who were coerced to conduct the same and thereafter she was taken by the defendant to his residence.
A neighbour spotted the Petitioner at the defendant’s house and informed Childline, who then rescued her and she was admitted to the care of a State-run home. The Petitioner was subsequently transferred to the care of Swakshatra Home for Children. With the help of Swakshatra, she approached CLPR to file a petition seeking annulment of her marriage with the Respondent as the same is contrary to the provisions of the PCMA.
A petition for annulment was filed by her represented by her father, for annulment in the Family Court, Bangalore. As per Section 2(a) of the PCMA, a child in the case of females means a girl child who has not completed 18 years of age. Further, under Section 3 of the PCMA, child marriage is voidable at the instance of the contracting party who was a child at the time of the marriage. In her petition, the Family Court issued notice to the Respondent who appeared and stated that he had no objection to the petition for annulment being allowed and for the marriage to be annulled under Section 3 of the PCMA.
After multiple detailed hearings, the Hon’ble Court was pleased to pass its judgment and decree dated 16.10.2019 holding the child marriage to be null and void in accordance with Section 3 of the PCMA and Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. This was one of the first petitions for annulment filed in the Family Court, Bangalore under the PCMA and also one where a judgment and decree for annulment was passed.
– This post was authored by Deekshitha Ganesan, Research Associate