John Stanley, Kt., C.J., Richards and Griffin, JJ.
1. This matter comes before us on a reference under Section 17 of the Indian Divorce Act for the purpose of having a decree for the dissolution of the marriage of the petitioner William Arthur Forshaw and his wife Eunice Geraldine Forshaw confirmed. The ground upon which the petitioner sought for a dissolution of his marriage is the adultery of his wife with the co-respondent, one lanes. It appears that in the course of the proceedings the wife was examined and she admitted the adultery. Upon this admission coupled with a letter received from her, the court below found that adultery was proved and passed a decree for dissolution of the marriage. We have no reason on reading the evidence before us to come to the conclusion that the petitioner connived at the adultery or was accessory to it, but at the same time we do not think that the case was so thoroughly investigated in the court below as is required or was intended by the legislature. It does not appear that the court below cross-examined the respondent as to the circumstances under which she left her husband's home, or as to the reasons which induced her to go to the house of the co-respondent Innes. Section 12 of the Indian Divorce Act prescribes the duty of a court in the investigation of a suit for a divorce. It provides that upon any petition for the dissolution of a marriage, the court shall satisfy itself, so far as it reasonably can, not only as to the facts alleged but also whether or not the petitioner has been in any manner accessory to or conniving at the going through of a form of marriage, or the adultery, or has condoned the same; and shall also enquire into any countercharge which may be made against the petitioner. Now in this case as we have said the only evidence in support of the adultery is substantially the evidence of Mrs. Forshaw herself. In that evidence she states that since she left Bareilly she had nothing to do with her husband nor did she return to him; that on the 13th of April she was staying at Cawnpore with Mr. Innes in a house which he rented. She admits that she sent the letter to which we have referred and states that she is living with Mr. Innes and that her husband never approved in any way of what she had been doing. Upon this evidence the court granted the petition observing as follows: 'I think it is unnecessary to require the applicant to produce further evidence. The co-respondent admits the charge of adultery and denies that the applicant connived at it. Both she and the applicant appear to be truthful witnesses.' That is the substantial part of the judgment. We think that the court below ought to have subjected the respondent to cross-examination as to the circumstances connected with her departure from and her motive for leaving her husband's home, and to have done as the Act lays down, so far as it reasonably could everything necessary to satisfy itself not only as to the fact of the adultery but also as to whether the petitioner had been in any way accessory to or conniving at it. The provisions of the section which we have quoted should not be overlooked and we hope that in future in matters of this kind coming before the courts below the requirements of the section will be carefully attended to. We confirm the decree for the dissolution of the marriage of the petitioner with the respondent Eunice Geraldine Forshaw.