The Karnataka High Court in its recent order refused to quash proceedings against a husband in a criminal case observing that annulment of marriage doesn’t mean articles that the wife had brought to the matrimonial home can be retained by the husband’s family.
However, the husband contested that he had already paid permanent alimony to his ex-wife.
Couple got married in 1998. According tot he wife. The marriage was annulled via a Bombay high court order, wherein it was recorded that Rs 4 lakh was paid as permanent alimony.
Allegations by Wife
The wife had claimed that an amount of Rs 9 lakh was paid as ‘stridhan‘ in two installments (Rs 4 lakh & Rs 5 lakh) just prior to their wedding in December 1998 and the same was not paid back. She also wanted the husband to return this amount with 9% interest. In this regard, she had registered a private complaint under Section 406 of IPC (criminal breach of trust) against her husband and his parents in 2009.
Wife alleged that the permanent alimony of Rs 4 lakh that she received, did not contain Rs 9 lakh paid as stridhan.
Husband & Family Move High Court
The husband had challenged the proceedings initiated by his ex-wife before a Bengaluru court, after the trial court refused to discharge him and his family from the case by an order dated March 22, 2018.
Karnataka High Court
Justice M Nagaprasanna noted the amount of Rs 9 lakh was a separate ‘stridhan’.
The judge said though annulment took place on the basis of a settlement that Rs 4 lakh has to be paid, no judicial fora had determined that this amount includes Rs 9 lakh of ‘stridhan’ and the same was never the claim in divorce proceedings. The judge concluded,
Annulment of marriage cannot mean all articles the respondent (wife) carried to the matrimonial house can be retained by the husband’s family.
- If the marriage had been annulled, the couple would have lived together for barely few days
- However, despite the short lived duration in the marriage, a wife is legally entitled to get permanent alimony from the husband
- While, the items/cash allegedly given by bride’s family belongs only and only to the woman
- This hypocrisy of criminalising dowry, but legitimising reverse dowry, in the name of alimony to wives, is nothing but a well aided legal extortion
- Matrimonial laws in India do not give weightage to time spent in marriage, contribution of the woman in her matrimonial home
- Irrespective of any charges proven against the husband or not, he is liable to pay alimony
- Even if charges against the husband are proven false, the man is still legally bound to pay permanent alimony to his estranged wife, in the name of her ‘financial security’
- Its time Men in India raise their voice against this practice of extracting money from them post marriage, and treating divorced wives as almost disabled
Husband Must Return Stridhan If Marriage Annulled, Even If He Has Paid Permanent Alimony: Karnataka HC
▪️Marriage 1998, Annulled by Bombay HC after permanent alimony paid
▪️2009, Ex-wife files case Bengaluru court demanding return of stridhan @ 9% p.a.https://t.co/60H6xJWH2b
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 20, 2022
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