Court:DELHI HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE N.N. Goswamy
DARSHNA KUMARI ALIAS WORSELY Vs. INDER KUMAR ARORA On 26 August 1982
Section 13(1)(ia) — Divorce granted to husband on account of wife’s cruelty — Wife filing criminal complaints against husband and his parents. Beating to husband by wife and her brothers. Aforesaid acts of cruelty sufficient to grant decree of divorce.
this appeal by the wife and cross-objection by the husband, are directed against the judgment dated 5-10-1978 passed by the learned Addl. District Judge, Delhi whereby the marriage between the parties was dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty and the issue of desertion was found against the husband.
2. The respondent husband filed a petition under Section 13(1)(ia) (ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act for a decree of divorce. It was alleged that the parties were married on 18-2-72 at Delhi according to Hindu rites. They lived together as husband and wife since the date of marriage at 181, Gali Bandooq Wali, Ajmeri Gate, Delhi. A daughter namely Vandana Arora was born out of the wedlock on 22-11-1972 at Jeevan Hospital, Rohtak Road, New Delhi. Right from the beginning, the behaviour of the appellant-wife towards the respondent, his parents, brothers and sisters was very unbecoming and remained disrespectful. She used to fall out every now and then in spite of the great love and affection shown to her by the respondent, his parents, brothers and sisters. The parents of the respondent treated the appellant like their own daughter and the respondent also gave the greatest love and affection to the appellant. In spite of this, she treated them badly and misbehaved. Thereby the feelings of the respondent, his parents, brothers and sisters were hurt. It was further alleged that after two or three months of the marriage, the parents of the appellant shifted to A-3, Defence Colony, New Delhi and the appellant started saying that the house of the respondent was very dirty and they do not have any status of living and should shift to Posh Colony like her brothers and parents. At this stage, the brothers and parents of the appellant also started interfering in the domestic affairs of the respondent and they usually almost every day started visiting the respondent’s house. The respondent objected to this daily visit and interference in the domestic affairs of the respondent’s house but they did not listen to it and started abusing the respondent, his parents, brothers and sisters. The appellant also started the same as her brothers and parents used to do and many a times created scenes whereby the neighbours used to collect and also used to tell that the relations of the appellant should not interfere in the domestic affairs of the respondent. The respondent kept on tolerating all this and used to persuade the appellant to behave properly and in a dignified manner. The appellant insisted times and again that the respondent should live separately from his parents. In order to keep the matrimonial home happy, the respondent acceded to the unreasonable demand of the appellant and shifted to the first floor of house No. 181, Gali Bandooq Wali, Ajmeri Gate, Delhi where he was residing at the time of marriage and became separate from his parents as the parents were living on the ground floor of the premises. The appellant went on to insist that the respondent should not support his aged parents and should not remain even on speaking terms with them. This demand of the appellant was not acceded to by the respondent as the same was highly unreasonable. The appellant used to visit her parents’ house very frequently even without informing the respondent or his parents and this also caused great tension in the mind of the respondent. When the respondent used to go to the parents’ house of the appellant, the appellant and her parents used to hurl filthy abuses on the respondent and used to say that in what sort of dirty house he wants to take the appellant and that they will not send their daughter to that dirty house. They also used to call the respondent as ‘bhukananga’ man who had nothing to feed the appellant. This state of affairs continued and the appellant would come with the respondent from her parent’s house on his persuation. On 24-3-1973, the appellant served a glass of milk as usual to the respondent but on slipping the same the respondent found the taste slightly bitter. Forth with the respondent suspected the foul play, On the respondent’s enquiry from the appellant about the bitter taste she admitted her guilt of mixing some ashes received from a ‘Sadhu’ who had assured that these ashes would work wonder and make the respondent submissive to her and hostile towards the parents.
3. It is further alleged in the petition that on the morning of 25-3-1973, the appellant quarreled with the respondent over the issue to have a house in posh locality and left the respondent’s house in spite of the respondent’s best efforts to dissuade her from this step. The respondent told the appellant that in the meagre income of Rs. 550/- he could not afford a house in a posh locality but the appellant did not listen to the respondent and at about 10.30 in the night on the same day she returned with her father and brother to the respondent’s house and they started abusing the respondent and other members of the family. They created such scenes and dangerous situation that the neighbours came out for intervention. They demanded the return of the dowry and started hurling abuses on the respondent and his family members. They also threatened the respondent and his family members that they will do away with each and every family member of the respondent’s family. The mohalla people of the respondent persuaded at that time that such incident do not occur in the respectable family and a daughter has to remain in her husband’s house and that the parents of the wife should not interfere in the domestic affairs of the husband. The better sense prevailed on the father and the brother of the appellant and they left the appellant at the house of the respondent and assured their co-operation, to the respondent. However, few days after the same thing restarted and there was no change in the behaviour of the appellant, his parents and behaviour of the appellant, his parents and brothers. They made the life of the respondent a hell. The respondent lost all charms of a married life. After these incidents, the appellant did not allow the respondent to have sexual intercourse with her and she arrogantly refused cohabitation with the respondent. The respondent had no sexual intercourse or marital pleasure thereafter.
4. It is further alleged that on 26-5-1973, the appellant finally of her own will and full determination with a view to deserting the respondent left the matrimonial home along with the minor daughter without informing the respondent. She told the other members of the family that she will not live with the respondent and will definitely obtain divorce from him. She also took all her belongings in the nature of jewellery, clothes and cash at that time. Thereafter the attitude of the parents and brothers of the appellant became very hostile and remained towards the respondent and they wanted to finish the life of the respondent. On 30-7-1973 the appellant and her brothers way laid the respondent in Connaught Place and started abusing, beating and threatening the respondent with dire consequences if he did not seek divorce from the appellant. The respondent was rescued from their clutches by some passers by. The respondent was put to such a great humiliation. The appellant’s brothers threatened the respondent that they would deface him by throwing acid or would make him physically incapable if he did not accede to their demand of divorce and return of dowry without going to the court of law. Similar threats of beating etc. continued from the side of the appellant through her relations. With great difficulty the respondent was able to get himself transferred to Bombay in November, 1973. It is also alleged that the appellant many a times offered to live with the respondent after she deserted the respondent in May, 1973 but such offers were not bona fide and the respondent has every apprehension in his mind that if she comes back to him the same acts would be repeated and the respondent would be left to suffer further at the hands of the appellant. The appellant did not stop harassing the respondent. She and her parents started to malign the respondent and his parents by saying that the respondent and his parents demand more dowry and that the appellant should bring the money from her parents’ house. Such allegations of the appellant are absolutely baseless and are being made to disrepute the respondent. The respondent or his parents never demanded anything from the parents of the appellant and instead they kept praising everything whatever the parents of the appellant used to give her and the question of demanding of dowry never came at all in their mind. The appellant went to Bombay in January 1975 at the residence of the respondent along with her brother and father. They abused the respondent and created the same scene which they used to do in Delhi. Again in March 1976 the appellant went to Bombay along with her sister-in-law and brother and she went straight to the office of the respondent with a view to defame and lower the respondent amongst his colleagues. Such kinds of incidents have also created great tension in the mind of the respondent and the respondent feels that it will be injurious or otherwise harmful for him to live with the appellant. The appellant and her relations also tried to put political pressure on the respondent. They lodged false complaints on 15-7-1976, 7-8-1976 and 3-9-1976 to Nari Raksha Smiti, Delhi. It is alleged that some political dignitaries are the founder members of that society. The respondent received letters from Nari Raksha Smiti at Bombay requiring the respondent to appear before them on the date and time stated therein. The respondent explained to Shri Radha Raman that the cases were pending in the court and he will go by the court verdict. Whenever the respondent came to the office of the Nari Raksha Smiti in response to their calls he was threatened by the appellant and her brothers of being murdered. It is further alleged that the respondent has learnt recently that the appellant has also lodged a false complaint before the Addl. District Magistrate (South), Shri S. Malachaimy through her mother for further harassment and mental shock to the respondent on some baseless and unfounded allegations.
5. The petition was contested by the appellant wife. In her written statement, she admitted the factum of marriage and birth of the minor child. The allegations of cruelty and desertion were denied. It was pleaded that the respondent wanted money and so long their greed and lust for money was satisfied their behaviour remained good. The appellant paid Rs. 5500/- on the occasion of the marriage of the respondent’s sister namely Kanta and also paid Rs. 10,000/- as demanded by them after getting the same from her parents and brothers. This however, did not satisfy their greed for further money and they wanted good amount to have their property released and debts paid. When these demands could not be completed they started ill-treating the appellant and her relations. She denied having abused the respondent or calling him dirty ‘bhukananga’ etc. She denied that her parents or brothers in any way interfere with the domestic affairs of the respondent though they did visit the house of the respondent being relations. She also denied that she had persuaded the respondent for living separately and she stated that the whole house was with the respondent and his family and in this situation they were living on the first floor also. She never asked the respondent not to support his parents and she treated his parents as her own parents. It is further stated that she never went to her parents, house without the consent of the respondent and his parents and she would always come back to the matrimonial home and there was no occasion for the respondent to persuade her for the same. She denied having mixed anything in the milk of the respondent as alleged. She has also denied the incident of 25-3-1975 as alleged in the petition. Regarding the incident of 26-5-1973, it is stated in the written statement that the appellant was turned out by the respondent and his parents in three clothes with the minor child and she had thus no other alternative but to seek shelter with her parents. She has repeatedly shown her willingness to join the respondent whenever and wherever he wants her to do so. She has also denied the incident of 30-7-1973 and has stated that she and her brothers never waylaid the respondent in Connaught Place or threatened him with dire consequences etc. According to her, the only reason why she is not being allowed to stay with the respondent is the greed of the respondent and his family members for more money and a rich dowry to the extent of Rs 50,000/-. She has narrated the various occassions when she and her parents made efforts for reconciliation but the respondent was not willing for the same. It is further alleged that it is the respondent who has made the life of the appellant a hell and no blame can be put on the appellant for their living separately.
6. The respondent filed his replication and denied the allegations in the written statement and reiterated the averments made in the petition.
7. On the pleadings of the parties, the learned trial Judge framed the following issues:—
(1) Whether the respondent has treated the petitioner with cruelty as alleged ?
(2) Whether the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition ?
(3) Whether the petition is not maintainable as alleged in the preliminary objection of the written statement ?
8. The parties led their oral as well as documentary evidence to prove their respective allegations. The learned trial Judge, on consideration of the entire evidence on record, came to the conclusion that the incident of 30-7-1973 of giving beating to the respondent in Connaught Place by the appellant and her brothers stood proved. He further held that the appellant had denied the sexual intercourse to the respondent which also amounted to cruelty. The criminal complaints filed by the appellant also amounted to cruelty. As regards the desertion the learned trial Judge held that there was no intention on the part of the appellant not to return to the matrimonial home and as such issue No. 2 was decided in favour of the appellant and against the respondent. No arguments were addressed on issue No. 3 and as such the same was decided in favour of the respondent. Consequently the marriage between the parties was dissolved on the ground of cruelty by judgment dated 5-10-1978. The appellant has challenged the judgment by this appeal and cross-objections have been filed by the respondent regarding issue No. 2.
9. The respondent in support of his case examined himself as P.W. 1, Narender Kumar Sabharwal and Ram Sarup Rana, neighbours of the respondent as P.W. 2 and P.W. 3 respectively. The father of the respondent was examined as PW 4. The letters Ex.P.1 to P.3 written by the appellant to the respondent were also proved. A copy of the police report Ex. P/2 was also placed on record.
10. P.W.1 the respondent proved his allegations in the petition and it is not necessary to refer to his entire evidence because the arguments were confined mainly to the incident of 30-7-1973 and regarding the refusal of the appellant to perform her marital obligations. He deposed that on 30-7-1973 when he was going to his office, the appellant along with her brother way laid him on the way and they demanded back their dowry articles when he told them that they should take legal recourse they abused him and started beating him. He felt apprehended and then he got himself transferred from Delhi to Bombay. He further deposed that from March, 1973, the appellant did not perform her marital obligations and refused sexual inter course to the respondent. He further stated that the appellant had filed three criminal complaints against him and he was harrassed thereby. He proved one complaint Ex. P/2 and regarding the second the same was admitted by the appellant as also by R.W. 4, as Assistant Commissioner of Police, Parliament Street, New Delhi. According to him, the appellant made a complaint in the Crime Branch Delhi against her in-laws that she was being harassed on the ground that they were demanding more dowry from her. Enquiry was instituted but the complaint was not found to be under the purview the Act and so it was filed. The respondent also stated that the appellant had filed a civil suit in this Court for the recovery of dowry. There is no other evidence of the respondent with regard to these incidents. P.Ws. 2 and 3 have only deposed that they heard the noise on a particular evening at the house of the respondent and they found that the appellant and her parents and brothers were threatening the respondent, his parents and relations and on their intervention, the mater came to an end. They also deposed that the appellant and her relations were demanding the dowry back and were calling the respondent as ‘kutta kamina’. The date of the incident given by them was March, 1973 at 9.30 p.m. Dayal Dass father of the respondent who appeared as PW 4 stated that at the time of marriage the respondent was living in joint family with him. The appellant used to quarrel with the respondent saying that she did not like the boy and that his standard of living was not good and that he was living in a dirty mohalla and that he was not having a car. He further stated that he never made any demand of any kind or of money from her parents. They kept the appellant and treated her like their daughter and gave her full affection. He also stated during the period of 1-½ year when the appellant lived with them there used to be frequent quarrels on the plea that the appellant did not like the boy and his pay. When she left the house 6 to 8 persons from the side of the appellant demanded the dowry back. The respondent was given beating in Connaught Place, New Delhi. It is significant to note that neither the respondent nor his father was cross-examined on the incident of 30-7-1973 and not a single question was put to them on this aspect.
11. In rebuttal, the appellant as her own witness denied that any beating was given to the respondent on 30-7-1973 by her or by her brothers. She, however, admitted her presence on 30-7-1973 and the explanation given by her was that she had gone to tell the respondent that she was beaten and thrown out of the house. She stated that on 8-2-1973 a sum of Rs. 5500/ were given by her father to the respondent at the time of the marriage of his sister. The respondent demanded this amount through her. She further stated that the respondent used to compel her to bring scooter for him and she brought Rs. 10,000/- from her father for the purchase of scooter in March 1973. After that her mother-in-law asked her to bring more money from her father saying that their house was lying mortgaged and after the redemption of the mortgage they would repay the amount. She refused to bring more money and because of this the relations became uncordial, and her mother in-law started misbehaving with her. According to her, she did not leave the house but was forcibly thrown out on 6-5-1973 after snatching all her ornaments etc. On the next day her parents and her brothers and Sital Dass who got their marriage arranged and the maternal aunt of the respondent along with her went to the house of the respondent but the respondent and her parents did not agree to keep her despite their request She denied that the respondent was ever insulted by her parents or her brothers. She admitted that letters Ex. P. 1 to Ex. P. 3 were in her hand and stated that no reply to these letters was received by her. She also stated that she had sent photographs of the child to the respondent by registered cover but the respondent refused to accept the same and the envelop was returned back, with the remarks “refused”. The envelope registered cover is Ex. RW 3/1. She also stated that she approached the Nari Raksha Smiti for reconciliation and in spite of their efforts, the respondent was not willing to keep her. She also stated that she went to Bombay twice, once with her relations and on the second time with the maternal uncles of the respondents. Efforts were made by every one including her to persuade the respondent to keep her with him, but he threatened to beat her and refused to keep her. She also proved letters Ex. RW3/3, Ex. RW3/5 and Ex. RW3/6, written by the sister and brother of the respondent to the respondent. According to her, she had taken these letters when she went to Bombay and went to the flat of the respondent. She also stated that she was willing to live with the respondent unconditionally. In cross-examination, she reiterated that the respondent and his parents were greedy and when their demands were not fulfilled their behaviour towards the appellant changed. Regarding the source of Rs. 10,000/- allegedly paid to the respondent, she explained that prior to her marriage she used to take tuition work and had collected Rs. 6500/- in her bank account. She with drew that money from her bank account and the balance was paid by her parents from their house. She denied that the quarrel mentioned in her latter Ex. P. 3 relates to the quarrel on 30-7-1973. According to her, no such incident took place on 30-7-1973. She had only gone to the office of the respondent and told him that she was turned out after giving beating.
12. R.W. 1 C.P. Kohli stated the respondent after shifting from Delhi was staying with him in Bombay. He stated that on 21-1-1975, the appellant along with her father, brother and four maternal uncles of the respondent and the child of the parties came to his house in Bombay. The four maternal uncles of the respondent came to his house when he was alone in the house. After half an hour the respondent also came and the discussion took place. The maternal uncles of the respondent discussed about the reconciliation between the parties with the respondent and it continued till 12.00 at night. His uncles were persuading him to keep the appellant and to ignore trifflle matters in the family but the respondent was reluctant. At 1.00 in the night there was knock at the door and on opening the door the witness found the appellant running in side the house and touching the feet of the respondent. The women folk of their neighbourhood also came there and this continued for 5-10 minutes. The appellant started weeping and was begging pardon. He was sent out and the door was looked from in side. The respondent raised cry from in side and asked him to open the door from outside and told him that he had some injury in his leg and on this he asked the persons who had bolted the door to open the same. The appellant and her child remained in the house for five days. During this period, he used to sleep in the house of his neighbour. The respondent had disappeared from the house and he tried to locate him but he did not come back. The respondent was staying with the younger brother in a guest house. After two days, he come to meet the witness in his office but he never come to the house. He further deposed that the some of the luggage of the respondent was lying in his house and from that luggage he found certain letters and handed them over to the appellant. On 26-1-1975 the respondent insisted that the appellant should leave the house and only then some settlement talks could be held. The witness was put to lengthy cross-examination but nothing could be brought out in the lengthy cross-examination.
13. R.W. 2 Sarla Mudgil is a Social Worker and she has only deposed to the efforts made by Nari Raksha Smiti for reconciliation between the parties. She has stated that from her talks with the mother of the respondent, she could gather that she was not satisfied with the dowry and they wanted more dowry.
14. R.W. 4 is Avinash Chander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, New Delhi. He stated that an Anti-dowry cell was created in the Grime Branch. The appellant made a complaint against her in-laws to the effect that they were creating fuse and were asking for more dowry and she was being harassed on that account. In this connection, an enquiry was instituted but the complaint was not found to be under the purview of the Act and so it was filed.
15. R.W. 5 Krishan Lal Sabharwal is the stepbrother of N.K. Sabharwal. He stated that the relations of the appellant never quarreled with the respondent and his parents at any time. All the mohalla walas elderly persons approached the parents of the respondent at the instance of the appellant and her parents and requested them to keep her with them but they refused. In cross-examination, he denied the allegations that he was making a false statement because of his enmity with Mr. N.K. Sabharwal.
16. R.W. 6 Om Parkash is an office bearer of Social Organisation known as Nav Jeewan Prem Sangathan. He stated that on 4.7.1975 the appellant approached the Organisation for seeking help for reconciliation between the parties. He wrote a letter to the Officer of the respondent requesting him that he should make efforts to make the respondent understand so that the matter could be settled. He further stated that no reply was received to his letter and again on 22.4.1975, he sent a letter under U.P.C. to Mr. Merwah, Officer of the respondent, but the said letter was also not replied. Copies of the said letters were produced by him when summoned in the Court of the Magistrate, New Delhi on 4.10.1975.
17. P.W. 7 Chunni Lal is father of the appellant. He stated that with great difficulty he was able to meet the demand of the respondent so the extent of Rs. 5500/- and the balance out of Rs. 10,000/- which was paid to the respondent. The respondent and his family again demanded some more money which he could not arrange, and therefore, the appellant was turned out on 26.5.1973. On 27.5.1973, he along with his son, his sister’s husband went to the house of the parents of the respondent and requested them to keep the appellant but they refused to do so. He denied that his sons ever insulted or gave beatings to the respondent. He also stated that he went to Bombay on 21.1.1975 along with the four maternal uncles of the respondent for reconciliation. According to him, the appellant begged pardon and touched the feet of the respondent but he refused to keep her. He also stated that he wrote many letters to the respondent at Bombay. The two letters Ex. PW 7/1 and Ex. PW 7/2 were also written by him. These two letters were recovered from the luggage of the respondent at Bombay and were handed over to him by Mr. Kohli in whose house the respondent was living in Bombay. In cross-examination, he denied all the allegations of cruelty put to him.
18. This is the entire evidence on record. I have given my careful consideration to the entire evidence and I have come to the conclusion that the learned trial Judge was right in holding that the incident of beating to the respondent on 30-7-1973 stood proved. The allegations about these incidents were made in the petition and it was stated that the beatings were given by the appellant and her brothers in Connaught Place. As his own witness, the respondent deposed to the said incident. His father also mentioned about the incident in his evidence. It is a significant that not a single question regarding this incident was put to the respondent or his father in cross-examination. The appellant in her statement denied the incident but admitted that she had gone to the office of the respondent on 30-7-1973. Her explanation that she had gone to tell him that she had been turned out of the house after being beaten cannot be accepted for the simple reason that in her written statement she has stated that the beating was given to her by the respondent and the respondent was present in the house. In this situation there was no reason for her to go and tell the respondent that she was turned out of the house after being beaten. Though a specific allegation had been made that the beating had been given by the appellant and her brothers, the brothers of the appellant have not appeared in the witness box to deny the incident. It is not disputed that the appellant is living with her parents and brothers and in this situation there is no reason for her not producing the brothers as witnesses. At least one brother could be produced and he could have explained the incident. In the light of this, there is no option but to hold that the incident narrated by the respondent is correct. It is also an admitted fact that the appellant had filed at least two criminal complaints against the respondent and his parents. The criminal complaints did not proceed either because they were technically defective or because the same had no merit. It is also not disputed that the appellant had filed a civil suit in this Court for the recovery of dowry. From the evidence of P.Ws. 1 and 2, it is also clear that the appellant, parents and brothers have all along been keen to get the dowry articles back. From the letters Ex. P.1 to Ex. P.3 also it is clear that there were bad relations between the brothers of the appellant and the respondent and they had been ill-treating the respondent. The appellant had admitted the ill-treatment of her brothers to the respondent.
19. After giving my careful consideration, in my opinion, it can safely be held that the aforesaid acts of cruelty were of such a type which would cause reasonable apprehension in the mind of the respondent that it would be harmful or injurious for him to live with the appellant and in these circum stances the decree for dissolution of marriage has rightly been granted. Consequently the appeal has no merit and the same is dismissed.
20. Coming to the cross-objections regarding desertion by the appellant, the admitted facts are that the parties are living separately since May 1973 i.e. more than two years prior to the institution of the present petition. This by itself is no ground to hold that the appellant had deserted the respondent. It is well-settled that two essential conditions which must be there before the spouse can be held guilty of desertion are :—
(1) the factum of separation and (2) intention to bring cohabitated permanently to an end (animus deserendi).
Similarly two elements are essential so far as the deserted spouse is concerned, (1) absence of consent and (2) absence of conduct giving reason able cause to the spouse leaving the matrimonial home to form the necessary intention aforesaid.
21. The first of these conditions is satisfied, but the second condition, in my opinion, remains unsatisfied. From the letters Ex. P. 1 to Ex. P. 3 wherein the appellant has admitted her fault in leaving the house it can safely be held that she was not right in saying that she was turned out on 26-5-1973 after being beaten but all the same it cannot be said that she had no intention to return back to the matrimonial home. In the same letters she has tried for conciliation and has requested the respondent to keep her with him. Within the period of two years of her leaving the house she has admittedly made various attempts for reconciliation including approaching the Nari Rakasha Smiti, writing various letters to the respondent and getting the intervention from other social organisations. It is also an admitted fact that the Nari Raksha Smiti also tried its best, at the instance of the appellant, to bring about reconciliation between the parties. The father of the appellant along with the appellant had gone to Bombay and it is clear from their evidence as also from the evidence of Mr. Kohli that the appellant fell at the feet of the respondent and begged pardon but it was the respondent who was not willing to keep her. Admittedly, the appellant had also gone to the house of the respondent and started staying in that house. It is the mother of the respondent who was not willing to keep her and went to the extent of filing a criminal complaint against her for trespass. The letters Ex. RW 3/4 to Ex. RW 3/6 written by the sister and brother of the respondent to the respondent also indicate that the appellant and her parents have been requesting the parents of the respondent to allow the appellant to live with them. The sister of the respondent has written to her brother that if the girl side have 60% fault the remaining 40% lies with them. Both the brother and the sister of the respondent have pleaded with the respondent to forgive the appellant and take her back. From all these facts it can safely be held that the appellant was all along willing to come back to the matrimonial home and live with the respondent but the respondent was adament in not keeping her. In this situation, it cannot be held that the appellant is guilty of legal desertion. The cross-objection have, therefore, no force and are hereby dismissed. In the circumstances, the parties are left to bear their own costs.
Appeal of wife dismissed. Cross-objections of husband also dismissed.