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JASBIR SINGH V. INDERJIT KAUR

Jasbir Singh v. Inderjit Kaur, AI 2003 PH 317

ISSUE:

  • Whether Kaur’s customary divorce was legally valid?

RULE:

  • The court relied on Section 29(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act and recognised that an existing custom must be protected.
  • Per the witnesses and evidence placed before the court, a customary form of divorce for Jat Sikhs was established.

FACTS:

  • Singh and Kaur were married in March 1987.
  • When getting married, Kaur and her father told Singh that she was unmarried.
  • In April 1987, Singh found out that Kaur had been previously married and divorced. When he confronted Kaur, she accepted the fact and left the marital home the next day.
  • Singh filed a petition for annulment of the marriage claiming that he was fraudulently induced into the marriage and had he known Kaur was a divorcee, he would not have married her. He further alleged that Kaur was not divorced from her previous husband when she married him.
  • The trial court ruled that a divorce had taken place between Kaur and he previous husband as per prevailing customs. Kaur’s previous husband also agreed that a customary divorce had taken place.
  • The District Judge found no instance of fraud and the petition for nullity was dismissed.
  • The case was then appealed to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.

HELD:

  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court held that the customary form of divorce would be recognized under Section 29(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act.
  • The judge upheld the decision of the trial court as Kaur had obtained a divorce from her previous husband at the time she married Singh.
  • Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.