Decided on June 09,2017

Santha Kannan W/O Late A K Kannan Appellant
Ganga Renju D/O G Gangadharan Respondents


K. Ramakrishnan, J. - (1.) The above appeal was filed by the second respondent in O.P.No.301/2006 on the file of the Family Court, Kottayam at Ettumanoor. The original petition was filed by the first respondent herein as petitioner against the second respondent herein and the appellant for recovery of gold ornaments or its value and the amount paid as patrimony. The case of the first respondent in the court below was that, her parents noticed a matrimonial advertisement in Mathrubhoomi daily published at the instance of the appellant and second respondent, who is her son seeking suitable bride for the second respondent. On that basis, they approached the appellant and enquired about the background and character of the second respondent and the appellant assured them that he was of good character, a Post Graduate and coming from a reputed aristocratic family having properties. It is on that basis, the parents of the first respondent decided to proceed with the marriage proposal. Accordingly the marriage was solemnised between the respondents herein on 10.07.2003 at Indraprastham Auditorium, Kottayam and it was later registered with N.S.S. Karayogam, Nattassery. At the time of marriage, Rs.2,00,000/- in cash and 100 sovereigns of gold ornaments were given to the first respondent by her parents, which she carried to the matrimonial home. They resided together at Moolamattom in the house of the appellant and the second respondent for two months and during the first week of August 2003, he had taken the first respondent to Vadodara in Gujarat where he was working in a medical company. They lived there in a rented house for four months. During that time, first respondent became pregnant and second respondent did not want to continue the job there as he was not getting liquor which was prohibited there. After resigning the job, they stayed for another ten days at Vadodara and during middle of December 2003, they came to the house of the appellant. On the next day of their arrival, she came to her parental home as her mother was leaving to Abudabi to help her sister as she delivered twin children. The second respondent was visiting her house and she was also visiting the matrimonial home frequently and this continued for another 11 months. The second respondent was sitting idle without any job. As insisted by the first respondent, he got a job in the field of medical transcription at Acusis software India Pvt. Ltd., a company at Bangalore. Originally he went alone and joined the job during first week of 2004. He stayed there along with his friends for some time and the first respondent stayed in her parental home as she was in the advanced stage of pregnancy. She delivered a female child on 13.08.2004 at Matha Hospital, Thellakom and thereafter she went to her parental house where she stayed along with the child till first week of 2004. Second respondent got a rented house at Banavaswadi in Bangalore and took the first respondent there along with the child. The appellant also came to Bangalore with reluctance as insisted by the second respondent and stayed with them for about two weeks. During that period, the relationship strained and so she came back to Moolamattom and living with her unmarried daughter. On 15th September, 2005, she had to leave Bangalore leaving the furniture worth Rs.75,000/- which were also gifted by her parents. Later she came to know that the second respondent had sold the furniture and other articles kept there and quit the job. First respondent was asked to reside in her parental house and not to go to the matrimonial home. Again the first respondent alone went to Bangalore and got a job, but he did not continue in that job also. Later she came to understand that at the time of marriage, he was not a Post Graduate in History as claimed and he was having bad character and he was not having good relationship with his mother or sister. But in order to continue the relationship, she suffered all the harassment met by her at the hands of the second respondent. He used to come fully drunk and even questioned the integrity and morality of the first respondent. Within one month of the marriage, as directed by the second respondent, she had entrusted 90 sovereigns of gold ornaments and Rs.2,00,000/- with the appellant on 20th July, 2003, on the undertaking that, it will be returned to her whenever she wants. The relationship between them had been irretrievably broken down. It is later understood that, the amount entrusted was misappropriated by the appellant and the second respondent and they pledged the gold ornaments entrusted as well. The appellant had made a complaint before the Kerala State Commission for Women, seeking police protection against her son, the 2 nd respondent. The child as well as the first respondent has without any income. The second respondent is unheard from 7 th March, 2008. So the first respondent filed the petition for return of Rs.2,00,000/- and gold ornaments of 90 sovereigns or its value or Rs.7,07,760/- against the appellant and the second respondent.
(2.) The second respondent remained absent.
(3.) The appellant entered appearance and filed objection contending as follows: The petition is not maintainable and it is barred by limitation. She admitted that, her son had made a matrimonial advertisement in Mathrubhoomi daily and parents of the petitioner had responded to the same. The allegation that they enquired with the appellant and she gave a good certificate about her son etc., are not correct. The marriage preparations and enquiries were conducted between her son and parents of the first respondent. According to her, he was a prodigal son, causing difficulties to her and her daughter. He was making problem from his school days and he was staying away from home. After the death of his father, he was demanding money and quarrelling with the appellant. He used to visit the appellant only rarely whenever he required money. She denied the allegation that the first respondent was given Rs.2 lakhs and 100 sovereigns of gold ornaments and that was taken to the matrimonial home, later it was misappropriated as false. The respondents were residing in the parental house of the first respondent and they never resided in the appellant's house at Moolamattom. She pleaded ignorance about the employment of her son at Vadodara in Gujarat and taking the first respondent there and coming back to Kerala. She admitted the birth of the female child to the first respondent in the wedlock on 13.08.2004 at Matha Hospital, Thellakom. She had admitted that she happened to reside at Bangalore for sometime, but they were cruel to her and they did not even take her to doctor when she was ill. She was not even allowed to fondle the grand child stating that she being a widow, it was inauspicious to touch the child. She was compelled to eat non-vegetarian food though she was a pure vegetarian. She had to leave Bangalore on account of the harassment met by her at the hands of the respondents. The first respondent was aware of the strained relationship of the appellant with her son and she had no information regarding the respondents till January, 2006. She was not aware of the furnitures taken to Bangalore by the first respondent. During January, 2006, the second respondent came fully drunk and abused her and her daughter and caused hurt to her and a criminal case was registered in respect of the same and he was arrested and taken on bail by the first respondent's father. After investigation, final report was filed and it is pending as C.C.No. 222/2006 before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Kottayam. She denied the allegation that she had misappropriated the gold ornaments and she was liable to return the same etc. In fact she filed a complaint before the Kerala State Women's Commission seeking police protection against her son. She has been impleaded in the case only to harass her and make a bargain to get the assets of her husband in collusion with the second respondent, her son. She prayed for dismissal of the application.;

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