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Rose Charlotte Pritchard Vs. Walter Edger Pritchard - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1923)45MLJ327
AppellantRose Charlotte Pritchard
RespondentWalter Edger Pritchard
Excerpt:
- - there is evidence, which the learned judge accepted, that the wife after the marriage lived in a notorious house of ill-fame, that she at night time hung about outside bioscopes where she at any rate conversed with soldiers and that on one occasion she quarrelled in the street with another woman of bad reputation, the cause of the quarrel being according to the police evidence, that the respondent accused the other lady of taking away soldiers from her who had promised to go to her place. but as the appellant has succeeded in -the matter of costs though she has failed as regards the main part of the appeal, the fair order would be that there will be no costs of the appeal......with persons unknown and that, therefore, the husband was entitled to a decree.2. i agree with the learned judge that a great deal of the evidence is not very clear and definite, but you cannot expect, in such a case, to get very definite evidence. there is evidence, which the learned judge accepted, that the wife after the marriage lived in a notorious house of ill-fame, that she at night time hung about outside bioscopes where she at any rate conversed with soldiers and that on one occasion she quarrelled in the street with another woman of bad reputation, the cause of the quarrel being according to the police evidence, that the respondent accused the other lady of taking away soldiers from her who had promised to go to her place. the learned judge, having seen the witnesses and heard.....
Judgment:

Walter Salis Schwabe, K.C., C.J.

1. This is an appeal from an order of Phillips, J., granting a decree nisi to a husband against his wife. He found, as a fact, that the wife was leading an immoral life since her marriage, that she committed adultery with persons unknown and that, therefore, the husband was entitled to a decree.

2. I agree with the learned Judge that a great deal of the evidence is not very clear and definite, but you cannot expect, in such a case, to get very definite evidence. There is evidence, which the learned Judge accepted, that the wife after the marriage lived in a notorious house of ill-fame, that she at night time hung about outside bioscopes where she at any rate conversed with soldiers and that on one occasion she quarrelled in the street with another woman of bad reputation, the cause of the quarrel being according to the police evidence, that the respondent accused the other lady of taking away soldiers from her who had promised to go to her place. The learned Judge, having seen the witnesses and heard the evidence, accepted it and 1 think there was ample evidence on which he could come to that conclusion, and this decree must, therefore, stand.

3. Another point is taken and that is the question of costs. In this case the learned Judge has, before the hearing of the case, given Rs. 75 costs to the respondent. It was something, at any rate, to go on with, but I do not think that it was intended to be a final order at all. He says that some of the witnesses who Avere called were possibly unnecessary, and he refused, to make any further order, having found the wife guilty. I do not think he attempted to apply the right principle to the matter at all. Except, at any rate, in two cases, firstly, where the wife has ample means of her own to defend herself, and, secondly, where the solicitor who Is employed has been guilty of misconduct, she would have to be provided with funds by the husband; but apart from that, the general principle, to my mind, is that the wife, who is charged rightly or wrongly by her husband in a Divorce Court, is entitled to be given her costs in defending that suit. The proper way of doing that is to give her taxed costs, and I think in this case the order must be varied by giving her taxed costs of the suit - of course, it will be for the Taxing Officer in taxing the bill to say whether any of the witnesses were necessary or not. However when you go to the Court of Appeal, the position is different and the respondent would naturally have to be paid his costs of the appeal; but as the appellant has succeeded in -the matter of costs though she has failed as regards the main part of the appeal, the fair order would be that there will be no costs of the appeal.

Ramesam, J.

4. I agree.


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