Supreme Court held as follows…
From Paras 6 and 7,
Santi Deb Berma Vs Kanchan Prava Devi on 10 Oct 1990 (CM Ver)
6. Mr. Dutta, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant herein assailed the impugned judgment contending that in the absence of acceptable proof that the marriage of the appellant with Namita Ghosh was celebrated or performed with proper ceremonies and in due form, it cannot be said that the marriage had been solemnised within the ambit of the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) and that the finding of the High Court based on the three letters and the oral evidence to the effect that the appellant and Namita Ghosh were living together as husband and wife cannot in any way serve as proof of a valid marriage as per the Act, especially when there is no plea that the marriage was solemnised in accordance with the customary rites and usage which do not include Saptapadi. In other words, it is not the case of the respondent that the marriage was celebrated in accordance with the customs, dispensing with the ceremony of Saptapadi and usage applicable to the parties. In fact, the courts have proceeded on the footing that according to the parties the ceremony of Saptapadi is one of the essential requirements for constituting a valid marriage.
7. The High Court in the instant case has drawn an inference that all the ceremonies essential for a valid marriage had been performed on the strength of the three letters and the oral evidence as aforementioned. We, after going through the judgment of the High Court very carefully are of the opinion that the High Court is not at all justified in drawing such an inference in the absence of any reliable and acceptable evidence, in regard to the performance of Saptapadi. The result will be that the alleged marriage between the appellant and Namita Ghosh, celebrated in defiance of the law applicable to the parties is held to be a marriage not valid in law. Hence the judgment of the High Court is not sustainable and consequently we allow the appeal by setting aside the conviction and sentence awarded by the High Court and acquit the appellant.
Citations :[1991 AIR SC 8161991 CRI LJ 6601991 SUPP SCC 2 6161992 SCC CRI 651992 JT 1 5401991 CRLJ 0 6601992 MWN CRI 1 841991 CRILJ 6601991 SCC 6161992 MADWN CRI 1 841991 CRLJ SC 660]
Other Sources :