Third Party Questioning Marriage not Entitled to Maintain Proceedings before Family Court

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November 05, 2018

The statutory provision involved in the case was Section 7(b) of the Family Court Act, 1984. The parties in the case were not parties to the marriage. Hence, the High Court of Gauhati held that the case was not maintainable before the Family Court as the parties were not “parties to marriage”.

Case name: Smti Nitikona Banarjee v. Sri Ram Prasad Banerjee

In this case, the respondent herein is not the person who claims a declaration about his own marriage and the appellant herein, Smti Nitikona Banarjee, is not the legally wedded wife of (plaintiff’s) brother, Lakhsman Banerjee. Thus, the parties in the case are not parties to the marriage. Hence, the issue that fell for consideration before the High Court of Gauhati was whether in such circumstance the case would fall under Section 7(b) of Family Court Act, 1984. The respondent in the case argued that the petition was maintainable under Section 7(b) of the Act as the provision does not contain the expression “parties to a marriage”.

Bench’s Verdict

The High Court was of the view that though in Section 7(b) of the Act the expression “parties to a marriage” does not occur, keeping in view the nature of relief that is provided before the Family Court, it would be only between the parties to a marriage to seek for such declaration for their benefit against the person who claims or contends not to be a party to the marriage.

That a third party questioning the marriage of any other party would not be entitled to maintain proceedings before the Family Court. In any event, if such a party has any grievance, the remedy is available before the ordinary civil court by filing a suit therein.

The entire case can be accessed here.