The family of the husband cannot retain all of the items that the woman brought into the marital home if the marriage is annulled: Karnataka high court

The family of the husband cannot retain all of the items that the woman brought into the marital home if the marriage is annulled, is upheld by the High Court of Karnataka through the learned Judge JUSTICE M NAGAPRASANNA, in the case of Ganesh Prasad Hegde & Others V Surekha Shetty, (CRIMINAL PETITION No.4544 OF 2018).

Brief facts of the case:

Petitioner Ganesh Prasad Hegde and his parents challenged the March 31, 2015 order by which the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Bangalore took cognisance of the proceedings initiated by his ex-wife for offences punishable under Section 406 of the IPC, as well as the March 22, 2018 order dismissing the application of the petitioners seeking discharge from the proceedings.

It was argued by the Petitioner that the Permanent Alimony Payment Agreement reached as part of the Divorce Settlement Agreement represents a full and final payment to the Respondent and so the marriage is dissolved. Permanent alimony in the amount of Rs.4/- lakhs was provided after the marriage between the first petitioner and the respondent was dissolved by mutual consent, as indicated by the Family Court Appeal filed in the High Court of Bombay.

In light of the fact that the High Court of Bombay had issued an order, I would argue that it is impossible to commit a crime of criminal breach of trust in connection with the unresolved problem of the claim for maintenance.

However, the Respondent argued that the premarital payments were not included in the Rs. 4 lakhs awarded as permanent alimony. Petitioners argue that continuing to hold onto Stridhana, to whom they were paid Rs.4 lakhs and Rs.5 lakhs on separate occasions following their divorce, constitutes a criminal breach of trust.


The bench stated that it is an undisputed fact that Rs. 9 lakhs in Stridhana was paid to the petitioner and his family, and that the amount retained by the petitioner and his family would necessarily be a matter for trial against the petitioners for an offence punishable under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code, and it is up to the petitioners to come out clean in the trial.


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