T.C. Shrivastava, J.
1. Shri M. L. Shrivastava, counsel for the appellants, heard. None appeared for the respondent to contest the appeal.
2. This appeal arises out of the order passed by the 1st Additional District Judge, Chhindwara, in Civil Suit No. 9-A of 1957 by which the marriage between the appellants has been declared null and void.
3. The appellant No. 1 Amarlal was married to the respondent Vijayabai long ago. Later, he contracted a marriage with appellant No. 2, Roopwati in February 1957 after the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 had come into force. The respondent Vijayabai then filed a suit for having the marriage between the appellants declared null and void. The petition filed by her purports to be under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, but the relief claimed falls under Section 11 of that Act.
4. The respondent as a previously married wife of the appellant No. 1 Amarlal was entitled under Section 10 of that Act only to a decree for judicial separation so far as she was concerned. She could not prefer any application to have the marriage between the appellants declared void under Section 11. That section can be invoked by only those persons who are party to a marriage as would clearly appear from the words 'either party thereto' used therein. The relief of declaring a marriage void has been intentionally confined to the parties to the marriage and it is not open to any other person to make an application under Section 11.
It is true that the marriage between the appellants was contrary to the provisions in Section 5 of the Act and was, therefore, invalid; but that is not the point in the case. The real question is whether any third party has a right to file an application under Section 11 to have the marriage declared null and void. The language used in that section admits of no doubt that the right cannot be exercised by anyone except the parties to the marriage which is challenged. Under these circumstances, it was not open to the Court to declare the marriage between the appellants null and void.
5. The petition is confined to the relief of declaring the marriage between the appellants as null and void and is not tenable under Section 11. Accordingly, it was liable to be dismissed.
6. I allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment and decree of the Court below. Instead, I direct that the suit be dismissed with costs.