HC annuls 17-day marriage on grounds of husband’s ‘relative impotency’ | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

HC annuls 17-day marriage on grounds of husband’s ‘relative impotency’

Apr 21, 2024 07:54 AM IST

Bombay HC annuls 17-day marriage due to non-consummation by 'relatively impotent' husband. Wife claimed husband showed no interest in her.

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court (HC) has annulled a 17-day marriage of a young couple on the grounds of non-consummation by a 27-year-old husband. The wife, 26, walked out of her marriage after she claimed that her husband showed no interest in her and they failed to establish sexual relations due to his ‘relative impotency’.

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For context, the term relative impotency denotes a situation where a person is incapable of sexual intercourse with a particular person though they are capable of sexual intercourse with another person.

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The couple got married on March 13, 2023, according to Hindu rites and customs at Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar (formerly known as Aurangabad), but the marriage ended by the end of the month when the wife left her matrimonial home in Ahmednagar.

Soon after returning to her maternal home in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, she approached the family court, seeking annulment of the marriage on account of non-consummation. In her petition before the family court, she claimed that the marriage brought her agony and a sense of being deceived by her husband and therefore, she couldn’t continue the marriage beyond 17 days.

The wife said they went on a honeymoon to Bengaluru and her husband showed no interest in her. She even confronted him but he got angry at her and asked her to leave his home.

The woman called a meeting with her in-laws to discuss the issue but there was no solution. As a final resort, she sought annulment of the marriage under Section 12(1)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, claiming that the marriage could not be consummated due to mental or physical disability of her husband, in the nature of ‘relative impotency.’

The husband filed his reply to the annulment petition, admitting that the marriage was not consummated during the span of their marriage, which ended on March 30, 2023, as they “could not connect with each other mentally, emotionally or physically.” He, however, blamed the woman for the same. He added that he was ‘perfectly normal’ but was ‘unable to establish physical relations with his wife.’

The woman then filed a plea and urged the family court to issue a decree of annulment in view of clear admission on the part of the husband that the marriage was not consummated on account of his ‘relative impotency.’

On February 26, this year the family court rejected her plea, prompting the 26-year-old woman to move to the high court where a division bench of justice Vibha Kankanwadi and justice SG Chapalgaonkar accepted her contention and allowed her plea.

“From the pleadings in the form of a written statement and reply to the application, it can be easily gathered that the appellant-husband has ‘relative impotency’ qua the respondent-wife,” said the bench. “The reason for non-consummation of the marriage is apparent ‘relative impotency’ of the husband,” it added.

The bench said, the court cannot ignore that it is a matter of a young couple who faced the agony of frustration of the marriage and the husband had in his reply to the wife’s plea for a decree of annulment, had in term admitted his ‘relative impotency’ qua the wife and therefore it was a fit case where the court was “expected to exercise its discretion and help the young sufferers of marriage to find out their own ways by declaring the marriage to be invalid.”

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