In England until 1858 the only remedy for desertion was a suit for restitution of conjugal rights. But by the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, desertion without cause for two years upwards was made a ground for a suit for judicial separation. It was not till 1937 that by the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1937, desertion without cause for a period of three years immediately preceding the institutions of proceedings was made a ground for divorce. The law has now been consolidated in the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1950 (14 Geo. VI, C. 25). It would thus appear that desertion as affording a cause of action for a suit for dissolution of marriage is a recent growth even in England.

The question as to what precisely constitutes “desertion” came up for consideration before this Court in an appeal for Bombay where the Court had to consider the provisions of S. 3(1) of the Bombay Hindu Divorce Act, 1947 whose language is in pari materia with that of S. 10(1) of the Act.

It is well known and recognized legal position that customary Hindu Law like Mohammedan Law permitted bigamous marriages which were prevalent in all Hindu families and more so in royal Hindu families. It is only after the Hindu Law was codified by enactments including the present Act that bar against bigamous marriages was created by Section 5(i) of the Act. Keeping into consideration the present state of the statutory Hindu Law, a bigamous marriage may be declared illegal being in contravention of the provisions of the Act but it cannot be said to be immoral so as to deny even the right of alimony or maintenance to a spouse financially weak and economically dependant.

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973—Section 378—Appeal against acquittal—Appellate Court being final Court of fact is fully competent to re-appreciate, reconsider and review evidence and take its own decision—Law does not prescribe any limitation, restriction or condition on exercise of such power and appellate Court is free to arrive at its own conclusion keeping in mind that acquittal provides for presumption in favour of accused.

Civil Procedure Code, 1908—Order 41, Rule 22 read with Order 8, Rule 1—Appeal against decree—Default from filing appeal within one month—Right of cross-objector is not taken away in absolute terms in case of such default—There is no indefeasible divestment of right of cross-objector in case of a delay and his rights to file cross-objections are protected even at a belated stage by discretion vested in Courts—If a cross-objector fails to file cross-objections within the stipulated time, then his right to file cross-objections is taken away only in a limited sense.

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