D.H. Shukla, J.
1. The appellant, Nathubhai alias Natwarbhai Kohyabhai Chamar, filed an application in the Court of the Commissioner, for workmen's compensation and Civil Judge, (S.D.), at Himat Nagar, to obtain compensation for the death of Bai Nanda whom he claimed as his wife, under the workmen's compensation act from the respondents. The learned trial Judge, for the reasons stated in his judgment, rejected the appellant's application. Hence, this appeal.
2. The appellant alleged that Bai Nandia (since deceased) was his legally wedded wife. Bai Nandia was in the employment of Chandra Quarry Works on a monthly salary of Rs. 150/-. On 24-1-1980 deceased Nanda along with other labourers was working in the Chandra Quarry Vadgam, and was digging the earth when all of a sudden there was a landslide, with the result that she sustained bodily injuries which resulted in her death. The appellant claimed that her death occurred out of the injuries which arose in the course of her employment with the respondent No. 1. He claimed to sum of Rs. 14,000/-, inclusive of funeral expenses, by way of compensation from both the respondents, jointly and severally.
3. The respondent No. 2 submitted his written statement at Exh. 38. He denied that Bai Nanda was employed with the respondent No. 1, and other averments made in the application are denied seriatim.
4. The trial Judge framed issues out of the pleadings. The relevant issues for my consideration are issue No. 1 and issue No. 4, since on the findings given on these issues the trial Judge has dismissed the application. Issue No. 1 is as to whether the appellant proved that Bai Nanda was his legally wedded wife, and issue No. 4 is whether the appellant proved that he was a dependant on the deceased, as denned in Section 2(1)(2) of the Workmen's Compensation Act. On both these issues, the trial Judge held against the appellant and dismissed the application.
5. The appellant examined himself at Exh. 18 and further examined one witness, Lallubhai Somabhai (Exh. 30). The respondents did not lead any oral evidence. The appellant did state in his evidence that Bai Nanda was his legally wedded wife. It was suggested in his cross-examination that Bai Nanda was not his wedded wife, but that he was only betrothed to her. It was also suggested to him that the deceased at the material time was aged only about 14 years and that she was merely a school going girl who resided with her parents. In view of her challenge given to the appellant to prove his marriage, the burden was on him to prove the marriage. However, the trial Judge found no evidence in this regard excepting the bare say of the appellant and his witness. The appellant stated in his evidence (paragraph 14) that there were many witnesses to his marriage, but he has examined none of them. The trial Judge has rightly observed that father of the deceased was alive at the time he gave his deposition and therefore he could have examined father of the deceased to prove the marriage. His witness has of course in passing stated that Bai Nanda was his wife, but he was not an eye-witness to the marriage and there-fore his evidence is of a hear say nature. The evidence of the appellant unsupported by any other independent evidence is found to be not acceptable as his deposition on other points is of a doubtful character. The appellant stated that Bai Nanda was aged about 20 years of age at the time of the accident, but her school leaving certificate (Exh. 49) is on record and it discloses her birth date to be 1-8-1966. She was, therefore, aged about 15 years, two months and 23 days on the day of accident. The appellant was, therefore, wrong in the face of the record when he stated that she was aged about 20 years when she suffered the accident. The trial Judge held that the appellant failed to prove and establish the fact with reasonable probability that the deceased was his wedded wife. Mr. R.N. Shah could not point out to me any fallacy in the reasoning of the trial Judge.
6. The trial Judge also negatived the issue about the question whether the appellant was a dependent of deceased, Bai Nanda. I have perused the evidence of the appellant. In his examination in chief he nowhere stated that he was dependant, wholly or partially, on Bai Nanda, but that apart, he was specifically asked a question by the court as to whether he was in any way dependant upon Bai Nanda for his livelihood. In answer to that question, the appellant definitely stated that he did not rely upon Bai Nanda's income. He was further asked as to whether his income was sufficient for his maintenance and in reply he stated that his income was sufficient to maintain him. Not only that, but in cross-examination also he had stated that it was he who was maintaining Bai Nanda and not Bai Nanda's father. In the light of this evidence, the trial Court could have reached to conclusion other than the one it did, namely that the appellant had failed to prove that he was a dependant of Bai Nanda, Mr. R.N. Shah could not assail this conclusion reached by the trial Judge.
7. In the result, there is no merit in this appeal and it is dismissed. There shall, hawever, be no order as to costs.