Scope of Amendment under Hindu Marriage Act as to Impotence and Fraud

This stringent condition is now removed. The fact of non-consummation of the marriage owing to the respondent’s impotence is all the need be proved under the Amended clause. This is more realistic provision than the previous one.

(ii) As to Fraud:

Annulling a marriage on the ground of fraud was a relief available under old sub-section (i) clause (c) also. But under the old clause it was held in Rajaram v. Deepabai, AIR 1974 MP 52, that “Fraud within the meaning of s. 12 (1) (c) means either (a) deception as to the identity of the other party to the marriage or (b) deception as to the nature of the ceremonies being performed.

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Where consent is given with the intention to marry the other party and with the knowledge that what is being solemnized is marriage, “an objection to the validity of the marriage on the ground of any fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment is not tenable”.

In that case the respondent had concealed the fact that he had been already married once before. It was held that the fraud did not relate to the identity of the parties or the purpose of what was being solemnized. So it was held not to be a fraud for which relief under s. 12 sub-section (1) clause (c) could be obtained.

The amendment has taken a broader view of fraud in relation to marriage. Fraud may relate to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstances concerning the respondent and not merely as to his identity as was supposed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The view of the Madhya Pradesh High Court is thereby superseded.

In other respects there is no change in the law as to voidable Marriage.

In Anurag Anand v. Sunita Anand, AIR 1997 Del. 94, the court held that false particulars in bio data based upon which the marriage was solemnized amounts fraud and the aggrieved party may annul the marriage.

However ordinary exaggerated description of the qualities of boy or girl will not give rise to such remedy. V Shankar Ram v. Sukanya, AIR 1997 Mad. 394.