Wedding Photos Not Enough to Claim Gold Ornaments: High Court

When marriages break legal battle starts and in order to prove oneself every party makes huge claims .One of the claim women makes is for return of dowry articles for which some times they take recourse of unacceptable evidences .The latest decision of judiciary do take cautious approach towards such claims .

Kerala High Court has held that much reliance can’t be put on wedding photographs to decide on returning the gold ornaments to the wife  by the husband while settling divorce cases.


“The very practice of passing orders for returning  gold ornaments merely by looking at photographs and assessing  their  weight without considering whether the claim is plausible can only be a perverse application of evidence,” Justice C.T. Ravikumar held.

The court was considering a petition filed by  Mohammadali of Ferook College PO, Kozhikode,  against a lower court order asking him to return the gold ornaments he had received after his  marriage to Rahiyanath, his former wife.

The family court found that there would be no difficulty in concluding  that the bride was in possession of 80 sovereigns of gold ornaments on the date of marriage.

The High Court observed,  “nowadays it is a fact that imitation gold ornaments made of other metals and ornaments plated with gold are available in the market. It is hard to distinguish and identify such ornaments if worn together with original ornaments when photographed.”

“In such circumstances, blind acceptance of all photographed ornaments as pure gold ornaments and further making calculation regarding the weight of each  such ornament  without any other reliable proof would be unsafe,”  the court held.

“Hitherto no technology has been developed to identify whether an ornament appearing in a photograph is gold or not,” it said.

Considering the present-day value of gold, such blind acceptance and ordering the return of gold ornaments might put the person called upon to return the same in indebtedness, it said.

The petitioner contended that the order to return 80 sovereigns of gold ornaments was not founded on any legally sustainable evidence. The court observed that considering the current value of gold, such blind acceptance and order to return gold ornaments might put the petitioner in debt for none of his faults.

The court, however, upheld the Magistrate Court’s order directing the petitioner to return 25 sovereigns of gold to the complainant.

Perhaps this decision will help in improving the justice  delivery system and preventing false claims to harass the opposite  party whenever there is wear and tear of marriage .


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