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Bismillah Begam Vs. Nur Muhammad - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1922)ILR44All61
AppellantBismillah Begam
RespondentNur Muhammad
Excerpt:
muhammadan law - sunnis--right of woman to repudiate a marriage performed during minority--exercise of right of repudiation dependent on knowledge of the woman that she has such right. - .....shows that her intention was to repudiate, and i think we may accept it as clear that the girl repudiated the marriage without any unreasonable delay. the lower appellate court at first found that the repudiation took place about 2 or 3 months after the girl had arrived at the age of puberty. the issue was remitted because this bench was of opinion that the rule laid down by imam muhammad was the more reasonable and equitable rule to be applied in india, namely, that a woman's right of option is prolonged until she is acquainted with the fact that she has such a right. in other words, that if she does not know that she has a right of rescinding the marriage, she will have the power to do so when she is aware of it. we think in the circumstances that the plaintiff appellant.....
Judgment:

Tudball and Lindsay, JJ.

1. On the issues remitted, the court below has come to a definite finding that the marriage has not been consummated, but its finding on the other issue, namely,--'When did Musammat Bismillah first come to know that she had a right of repudiating her marriage?'--is by no means definite or clear. The story told by the girl and her uncle is that a pleader, Shaikh Ahmad Husain, was consulted and when he gave his opinion her uncle Abdullah informed the girl and she at once repudiated the marriage. The uncle Abdullah and the girl herself put this at a period of some three years before they gave their evidence, Ahmad Husain, on the other hand, put it at some 3 1/2 years; but ho was by no means definite, and the court came to the conclusion that it must have been some time between November, 1916, and January, 1917. The repudiation was made on the 7th of March, 1917. The lower court has assumed that the appellant was informed of the opinion of Shaikh Ahmad Husain at the very time that it was given. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to fix the exact time when the plaintiff was informed of her right of repudiation, but we may take it that the fact that a pleader was consulted shows that her intention was to repudiate, and I think we may accept it as clear that the girl repudiated the marriage without any unreasonable delay. The lower appellate court at first found that the repudiation took place about 2 or 3 months after the girl had arrived at the age of puberty. The issue was remitted because this Bench was of opinion that the rule laid down by Imam Muhammad was the more reasonable and equitable rule to be applied in India, namely, that a woman's right of option is prolonged until she is acquainted with the fact that she has such a right. In other words, that if she does not know that she has a right of rescinding the marriage, she will have the power to do so when she is aware of it. We think in the circumstances that the plaintiff appellant repudiated the marriage without any unreasonable delay after she became aware of her right to do so. In these circumstances we think that the plaintiff's suit ought to have been decreed. We, therefore, allow the appeal, set aside the decrees of the courts below and decree the, declaration asked for by the plaintiff that she has lawfully repudiated her marriage with her husband, the defendant respondent Nur Muhammad, and that the decree, dated the 31st of March, 1915, obtained by the latter against her for restitution of conjugal rights is now of no force. The plaintiff will have her costs in all courts.


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