Thursday, August 10, 2017

Judgments on Prenuptial Agreements in India.

Case Laws on Prenuptial Agreements in India.

On April 12, 1957, the plaintiff-appellant in this Court- instituted the suit out of which this appeal arises against the third respondent who is the second son of His Exalted Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad, and who will, hereinafter, be referred to as the Prince.
In the plaint she alleged that she is the lawfully married wife of the Prince, the marriage ceremony (Nikah) having been solemnized in accordance with the Shia Law by a Shia Mujtahid on October 19, 1948. The plaintiff also averred that the issue of the marriage were three daughters aged 8, 7 and 5 years; that the fact of the marriage was known to all persons acquainted with the Prince; that there was a prenuptial agreement, whereby the Prince agreed to pay Rs. 2,000 per month to the plaintiff as Kharch-e-pandan; that the Prince stopped the payment of the allowance aforesaid of Rs. 2,000 per month, since January, 1953, without any reasons and in contravention of the said agreement. On these allegations, she asked for the following two declarations:-

Citation :

Supreme Court of India
Razia Begum vs Sahebzadi Anwar Begum &
Equivalent citations: 1958 AIR 886, 1959 SCR 1111
Author: B P Sinha
Bench: Sinha, Bhuvneshwar P.

Under the Hindu Law, as has been observed in the case of Tekait Mon Mohini Jemadai v. Basanta Kumar Singh reported in (1901) ILR 28 Cal 751.
"the duty imposed upon a Hindu wife to reside with her husband, wherever he may choose to reside, is a rule of Hindu Law and not merely a moral duty.
An ante-nuptial agreement on the part of the husband that he will never be at liberty to remove his wife from her parental abode, would defeat the rule of Hindu Law, and is invalid on that ground, as well as on the ground that it is opposed to public policy."
In the above decision the following few lines from Mayne's Hindu Law, have been quoted with approval.

" As soon as the wife is mature, her home is necessarily in her husband's house. He is bound to maintain her in it while she is willing to reside with him and to perform her duties. If she quits him of her own accord, either without cause or on account of such ordinary quarrels as are incidental to married life in general, she can set up no claim to a separate maintenance. Nothing will justify her in leaving her home except such violence as renders it unsafe for her to continue the,re, or such continued ill-usage as would be termed cruelty in an English Matrimonial Court."

Orissa High Court
Sribataha Barik vs Musamat Padma
Equivalent citations: AIR 1969 Ori 112, 1969 CriLJ 761
Bench: S Acharya

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