1. This is a case which has been referred to the High Court by the learned District Judge for confirmation of a decree which the learned Judge made in favour of the petitioner dissolving her marriage with the respondent.
2. The learned Judge found that the husband bad deserted the petitioner for nearly six years and had not maintained her and her child and that he had been guilty of habitual cruelty and adultery. The learned Judge then said that prima facie the petitioner was entitled to the relief asked for. It appears, however, that the petitioner admitted that she had given birth to a child about a year ago and that the child was not her husband's. The question, therefore, arises, under the proviso to Section 14 of the Divorce Act, whether the Court, in the exercise of its discretion, should have granted a decree. The proviso to this section is similar to the proviso to Section 31 of the Matrimonial Causes Act. In respect of that proviso, it has been held in several cases that the fact that the husband caused or conduced to the wife's adultery by his own wilful neglect or misconduct may be taken into consideration.
3. One of the cases is Symons v. Symons,  P.D. 167, Sir Francis Jeune is reported to have said as follows:
After very careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is safe and proper to hold that the circumstance which may be considered in exercising this discretion should include the case of a husband causing or conducing to his wife's adultery by his own wilful neglect or misconduct;4. and again, at page 177 the learned. President is reported to have said;
On principle, there appears to me to be strong reasons for holding that such wilful neglect or misconduct by a husband should constitute matters, possibly not always conclusive, but fit to be taken into consideration in exercising the descretion whether a divorce shall be granted against him.5. In this case, the learned Judge found that the respondent deserted the petitioner for at least four years; that she went to live with her brother until his death; after that, with her mother until she died; and that after her mother's death she was absolutely destitute. He referred to other matters and concluded by saying:
There can be no doubt that the husband by his own conduct is largely, if not wholly, responsible for his wife's guilt. On the facts of the case, I am inclined to believe that the petitioner was forced by necessity and circumstances created by her husband to become unchaste.6. I am not prepared to disagree with the finding at which the learned Judge arrived, and, in view of that finding, I am of opinion that she Court should exercise its discretion in this case in favour of the petitioner and confirm the decree for dissolution of marriage which has been made by the learned District Judge.
7. I agree.
8. I agree.