1. Appellant Jarnail Singh has filed this appeal against the judgment of the learned Additional District Judge, Hoshiarpur vide which his application under S. 13(1) (i-a) and (i-b) of the Hindu Marriage Act (hereinafter called as the Act) was dismissed. The facts giving rise to this appeal are as under:---
The parties were married in the year 1957. Out of the wedlock five children were born. three daughters and two sons. The parties lived cordially up to the year 1973, but later on the relations became strained and the present appellant and the respondent did not live together. Consequently the appellant filed an application under S. 13(1) (i-a) and (i-b) of the Act for divorce on the basis of cruelty and desertion. It was alleged in the application that she left the house of the appellant on the pretext that she wanted to attend the Akhand Path Bhog ceremony at the house of her father in village Kukowal and after that she never came back in spite of the attempts made by the appellant. The main ground given in the application was that she wanted a share in the property of Dhanpat who is the uncle of the appellant which he refused and on this account she had deserted him. This application was resisted by the respondent-wife and the allegations in the application were denied. It was alleged that she was turned out of the house along with her daughters after giving beatings to her. She also denied the incident of May 22, 1973 which is mentioned in the application of the appellant. It was further alleged in her written statement that as the appellant had illicit relations with one Varinder Kumari a J. B. T. teacher, he started maltreating her and ultimately turned her out and that he also filed a defamation application under S. 500 of the I.P.C. against her with a view to put pressure on her to get divorce. She filed maintenance application on her own behalf and on behalf of her children which was allowed by the Court of January 19, 1976. The parties contested on the following issues:-- 1. Whether the respondent has treated the petitioner with deliberate cruelty so as to cause reasonable apprehension in his mind that it will be injurious for him to live with the respondent?
2. Whether the respondent has deserted the petitioner for continuous period of two years immediately preceding the presentation of this petition O P A.
2-3. The learned Additional District Judge after perusing the evidence dismissed the application of the appellant.
4. I have gone through the evidence and the relevant record. The appellant in order to prove his case produced one Rattan Lal, P.W. 1 clerk who brought the file from the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Hoshiarpur, Balwant Rai, P.W. 2, Clerk of the District Education Office dealing with transfers, Ripudaman Singh, P.W. 3 head teacher of Government Primary School, Jahanpur, Head Constable Puran Chand, P.W. 4, Dhanpat P.W. 5, who is the uncle of the appellant, Kartar Singh P.W. 6, who is an Assistant in the Office of Director Public Instruction, Chandigarh and the appellant himself appeared as his own witness as P.W. 7, Rattan Lal, P.W. 1, Balwant Rai, P.W. 2, Ripudainan Singh P.W. 3 and Kartar Singh, P.W. 6 are the witnesses regarding transfer of the appellant from Government High School Dhada Kalan to some other school, hence they are not very material on the actual allegations made 'by the appellant in his application.
5. P.W. 4 is Head Constable Puran Chand who says that there was a compromise between the appellant and his father-in-law. P.W. 5 Dhanpat is the uncle of the appellant who has executed a will in favour of the appellant of his property. Jarnail Singh appellant deposed as his own witness and supported the allegations which he made in the application. His main contention is that after his uncle Dhanpat, P.W. 5 executed the will in his favour for the immovable property, the relations with the respondent became strained as she wanted to get that property in her name. He further deposed that his father-in-law and brother-in-law waylaid him on May 3, 1973, when he was returning from the school in the evening and that there was a compromise regarding that incident on May 28, 1973. I have perused the evidence of these witnesses.
The relations between the appellant and the respondent were cordial for about 15-16 years and on no occasion they ever quarrelled with each other or lived separately from each other.
6. The only ground urged by the appellant is that the relations became strained after his uncle Dhanpat, P.W. 5 executed the will in his favour of his property and the respondent wanted the transfer of that property in her name. I am not at all convinced with this allegation of the appellant. No wife in the villages would disrupt married life after 16 years on such a ground and when the property belongs to uncle. Moreover, she has three daughters and two sons and even if the uncle had executed the will in her husband's favour that cannot be any cause of annoyance because ultimately the property would devolve on her children. Moreover, till then, according to the showing of the appellant himself, there has been no untoward incident between them. Five children are born out of their wedlock. Two daughters are of marriage-able age. This could hardly be any ground for the wife to break and disrupt the family after such a long time. It is to be highlighted that the will is not produced by the husband (appellant) or his uncle. Hence it is also doubtful whether actually any will is executed by the uncle in favour of the appellant. The evidence produced by the respondent shows that the relations became strained because the appellant developed friendship with one Varinder Kumari who was a teacher in the same school where the appellant was employed. This allegation is supported by her in her own version.
7. The allegation of relationship with Varinder Kumari is corroborated by the testimony of Sikander Kaur, R. W. 1, who is the daughter of the appellant. No daughter will depose against her father falsely. Moreover, there was no occasion for the respondent also to make any such false allegation if there was none because earlier the relations between the parties were cordial and five children were born out of the wedlock. Their statements are further corroborated by Didar Singh, R. W. 2 who is resident of the village of the appellant, Bachint Singh R. W. 4 who is the father-in-law of the appellant and Gurdial Singh, R. W. 3 who is the Sarpanch of village Kukowal. All these witnesses namely Sikander Kaur, Didar Singh and Shakuntla Devi say that Varinder Kumari was living in the Haweli of the appellant and that they were seen together going on a motorcycle from this village to the school and Sikander Kaur, R. W. 1 has even alleged that they were seen in a compromising position in the room of the Haweli. All these facts show that the relations became strained only when the appellant developed relation with Varinder Kumari who started living in the house of the appellant.
8. The learned Additional District Judge has given cogent reasons and has minutely discussed the evidence produced by the parties. Moreover. if this fact was wrong then the father or the mother of the appellant could come forward and depose that Varinder Kumari never lived in their Hawell, but for the reasons best known to the appellant neither his father nor his mother has come in the witness box. None of his sons living with him has also come forward to deny these allegations.
9. Today the parties are present in the Court in person. Respondent was willing to live with the appellant as his wife. But when 1 asked the appellant whether he is willing to keep her, he flatly refused that under no circumstance he is ready to keep her. The respondent Shakuntla Devi in all fairness without any. pre-conditions offered to go and live with him as his wife, but the appellant did not agree. This also shows that the appellant is not willing to keep her.
10. The parties were married in the year 1957. Twenty one years have passed. Five children are born out of the wedlock--three daughters and two sons. Two daughters are of marriageable age, the eldest being 21 years of age and the other 19 years of age. At this stage the family cannot be allowed to disrupt and divorce allowed to the appellant on the grounds which are not at all proved by the evidence produced by the appellant. Accordingly, the finding a of the learned trial Court on both the issues is affirmed.
11. No other point is urged.
12. For the reasons recorded above, this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
13. Appeal dismissed.