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Rathnamma & Ors. V/s Sujathamma & Ors.
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Rathnamma & Ors. V/s Sujathamma & Ors.
Rathnamma & Ors. V/s Sujathamma & Ors.

Facts of the Case

The Civil appeal has been filed before the Honorable Supreme Court pursuing to the order passed by the Honorable High Court of Karnataka dismissing the second appeal which was filed with plea that the order passed by the first trial court should be maintained and upheld in the right interest of the defendant no. 2 5 and 4.

In the present facts should be understood with a context, Sonnappa had five children i.e. 3 daughters (Sonamma, Lakshmamma and Kenchamma) and two sons (Venkatarayappa and Hanumanthappa). Sonnappa died during the pendency of the litigation process dealing with the legality of the marriage of his Hanumanthappa. The plaintiff- Sujathamma here respondent claims to be married to Hanumanthappa on 7/03/1986 but unfortunately due to various illnesses, Hanumanthappa succumbed to death on 15/101986. Now after the death her acclaimed husband, she believes her entitlement in the estate of Sonnappa is valid in the eye of the law. It was said that her assertion made in the first appellate court has been held to valid and the same was upheld by the High Court.

The plaintiff (respondent) in the present case claims that the defendant no.1 i.e. Sonnappa is her father-in-law and due to her relation with Hanumanthappa as his wife she is entitled to the property of the HUF. As the daughter of Sonappa was married to the father of Sujathamma it was quite an easy task for the father to forged or obtain the signature by way of cheating and the defendant(Sonnappa) never consented to the marriage of his second son Hanumanthappa as he already had a knowledge of his illness and was not fit for getting married at the time. Further, he also mentions that at the time of death of Hanumanthappa his alleged wife was just 14 years old. Further terming that 14 year is an illegal age for marriage and if any document is been produced or if produced such document is altercated or fake.

Issues of the Case

1. Is the plaintiff in the present case respondent entitle for a share in the estate of Sonnappa?

2. If valid marriage is the only way for such a claim to be real, is the marriage legal?


Herein mentioned the facts and after hearing the argument of the learned counsels representing both the parties respectively observes and envisages that-

The Honorable Supreme Court in its observation reiterates that in suit or an appeal filed by any person that relating to the validity of a marriage is important provide the fair evidence that translates the presumption of valid marriage into reality, where any one party denies the existence of the marriage or states that the marriage is illegal then the onus of proof is upon person to prove the marriage is legal or emphasis is on the legality of the matter and plead to the court of law for help.

The Honorable court in its interpretation states that the Honorable High Court missed the sport of illegality and proceeded to pass the order. The document provided by the plaintiff was mere agreement between the party and claimed that their marriage was solemnized in the office of sub registrar but to the back this version there was not proof or certificate issued by the appropriate authority under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 also it further provides no proof that the marriage ceremony did took place. The Court also states that any agreement entered into by the consent of all the members of the family if not registered will not be treated as valid in the eye of law, further the consent provided by all the members for an agreement of marriage here in still in dispute here.

Court here observed that it is impossible to see a marriage in the eye of law in ways of customs or rule of law, if at all by any other custom the marriage has brought into existence such proof was not even provided to utmost satisfaction of the court. Any custom performed by the community in the country has valid legal sanctity by the court of law but if any person which does not abide by the law in case of marriage by the custom still will be treated as unmarried because there exist no marriage in the eye of the law and if at all plaintiff pleads the community has its own customs for the arrangement of the marriage and if not recognized by the court such custom will not make the marriage liable to be given judicial scrutiny or such custom will not able to set up judicial precedents. In the above case court can clearly see with close observation that not marriage was performed between the plaintiff and defendant.

The Honorable Supreme Court agree that no marriage existed between the Hanumanthappa and Sujathamma, therefore the respondent is not entitled to any share in estates of the deceased Sonnappa further upholding the decision of the Trail Court dismiss the appeal accordingly.

Case No.: CA 3050 of 2012

Date: 15/11/2019

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