Maya Gopinathan vs Anoop SB 2024 INSC 334 – Matrimonial Cases – Standard Of Proof – Stridhan

Stridhan -Gifts made to the bride by the bride’s husband or her parents or by relatives from the side of her husband or parents, at the time of marriage, constitute her stridhan- The properties gifted to a woman before marriage, at the time of marriage or at the time of bidding of farewell or thereafter are her stridhan properties. It is her absolute property with all rights to dispose at her own pleasure. The husband has no control over her stridhan property. He may use it during the time of his distress but nonetheless he has a moral obligation to restore the same or its value to his wife. Therefore, stridhan property does not become a joint property of the wife and the husband and the husband has no title or independent dominion over the property as owner thereof. (Para 34,21)

Matrimonial Cases – Standard Of Proof – Standard of proof for disputes in the matrimonial sphere would be preponderance of probabilities and not beyond reasonable doubt – In civil cases including matrimonial disputes of a civil nature, the standard of proof is not proof beyond reasonable doubt ‘but’ the preponderance of probabilities tending to draw an inference that the fact must be more probable.- Matters of matrimony can rarely be said to be simple or straightforward; hence, human reaction as per a mechanical timeline before the sacred bond of marriage is severed is not what one would expect. Divorce, majorly, in Indian society is still considered a stigma, and any delay in commencement of legal proceedings is quite understandable because of the attempts made to have the disputes and differences resolved (Para 19,24)

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