S.N. Modi, J.
1. This is a civil miscellaneous appeal by husband Virendra Narang under Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (hereinafter to be referred as 'the Act'); against the order of the District Judge, Jaipur City, dated August 27, 1975.
2. Broadly stated, the facts of the case are that the marriage between the parties took place on June 17, 1965 in accordance with the Hindu rites and customs.
3. The appellant moved an application under Section 13(1)(ii) of the Act, alleging that since the respondent has charged her religion to Christianity, a decree for divorce by dissolution of marriage be passed in his favour. This application has been contested by the respondent. She denied having changed her religion to Christianity. She also alleged that she was still a firm believer in Hinduism.
4. On the pleadings of the parties, the following issues were framed-
(1) Whether the non-petitioner has changed her religion on 23.4.69 and became Christian? If so, what is its effect?
5. The learned District Judge, after evidence, dismissed the application. It is against this order of dismissal of the application, that the husband has preferred this appeal before this Court. I have been the learned Counsel for the parties and gone through the record of the case.
6. The appellant, in order to prove issue No. 1 examined himself as PW. 1 and also examined Emanual Maurice Khanna PW. 2 and Jagdish Chandra Kaushik PW. 3 The appellant has also produced the certificate of Baptism Ex. 2, and also the register of Baptism maintained by the priest. The relevant entry in this register is Ex. 7. P.W. Virendra Narang, who is appellant in this casa, has stated that the respondent left him finally in October 1969 when she proceeded to Amritsar. He has further deposed that he found in a small attaches left by her. certificate of Baptism Ex. 2. A perusal of the certificate Ex. 2 shows that the person converted to Christianity was Beena, whose parent's name were Hari Sharan Gulati and Smt. Dharam Kaur, both residents of Amritsar. This certificate was issued by Shri G.C. Khanna on behalf of the Missionary Society for the Propagation of the Light of Jesus Christ, All India Church of Hind. The certificate is attested by two witnesses Shri J.H. Parshad and Shri J.C. Kaushik PW. 2 Emanual Maurice Khanna is the soc of Shri G.C. Khanna, who issued the Baptism certificate' PW. 2 bits deposed that he knows the handwriting and signatures of his father Shri G.C. Khanna, who died in 1973. He has further deposed that his father used to baptize and convert persons to Christianity and used to maintain a register of baptism the witness also brought the register with him , which is marked as Article 1. He has further deposed that this register bears his father's signatures between B to C. He also testified that the signatures A to B in Ex. 2 are of his f ether Shri G.C. Khanna. The last witness examined en behalf of the appellant is one of the attesting witnesses, namely, Jagdish Chandra Kaushik. He has deposed that the certificate of baptism Ex. 2 bears his signature C to D as an attesting witness. He made this attestation at the request of Mr. G.C. Khanna. He has further deposed that at the time of attestation, a girl was sitting near Mr. Khanna and during conversion it came to light that she was the daughter of Hari Sharan Gulati and Smt. Dharam Kaur. He had also identified the girl by seeing her photograph Ex. 5
7. The photograph Ex. 5 is of the respondent. Her parents names are admittedly Hari Sharan Gulati (father) and Smt. Dharam Kaur (mother). It is thus evident from PW. 3 that the person converted to Christianity was the respondent and the certificate of Baptism Ex. 2 related to none else except the respondent.
8. No evidence whatsoever was produced in rebuttal en behalf of the respondent so much so that even the respondent herself did not appear in the witness-box to deny on catch that the was cot converted to Christianity Shri G.C. Khanna and that Ex. 2 did not relate to her.
9. The learned District Judge has disbelieved the statement of PW. 2 Emanual Maurice Khanna on a very flimsy ground that be was cot able to depose in whose handwriting were the various entries of Ex. 7. The learned District Judge, it appears, was much influenced by the respondent's having filed an application under Section 9 of the Act for restitution of conjugal rights in the court of group, First Class, Amritsar, against the petitioner. This application under Section 9 was instituted en May 2, 1070, and ex parte decree was passed on April 11, 1972. The leaned District Judge has remarked that though the decree was ex parte, the respondent, in her application under Section 9 of the Act, would have averred that she had changed her religion to Christianity. In my opinion, (his is no ground for disbelieving the certificate of Baptism and the fact that the respondent was converted to Christianity. The respondent might have deliberately omitted to mention this fact in her petition under Section 9 of the Act. She might have thought that in case she disclosed her conversion to christened that would be a good ground for her husband to obtain a decree of divorce by dissolution of marriage against her. Again, simple because, the respondent moved an application for restitution of conjugal lights in the 5 ear 1970 and obtained an ex parte decree in 1972, it cannot be said that file was not converted to Christianity specially when she has not appeared it the witness-box to deny this fact. As already stated above, the certificate of Baptism relates to the respondent is clearly proved from the names of the parents mentioned therein. It is true that neither the certificate of Baptism Ex. 2 for the entry Ex. 7 in the register of Baptism bear the signatures of the respondent, but, at the same time, I fined no such column in either of these documents, where it was necessary for the person converted to make his signatures. In the above circumstances, in my opinion, the petitioner has been successful in proving that the respondent after her marriage ceased to be a Hindu on account of her conversion to Christianity.
10. Section 13(1)(ii) of the Act lays down that any marriage solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion. Since it has been proved that the respondent was converted to Christianity, the appellant is entitled to a decree for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce.
11. I, accordingly allow this appeal, set aside the order of the learned District Judge dismissing the petition and pass a decree for divorce by desolation of marriage.
12. The learned Counsel for the respondent orally prays that the respondent be granted maintenance under Section 25 of the Act. In my opinion, it will not be proper to pass any such order without written application and without any evidence on the subject. The respondent is free to move spare rate application for this purpose in accordance with law.
13. Having regard to the circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs throughout.