Divorce - Sec. 13(1) (ia) (ib) and (ii) of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 - conversion to Christianity after birth of fourth child - Desertion after that - admitted faith in Jesus from child hood - Burden lies on her whether she converted before the marriage or after the marriage when Marriage was taken place as per Hindu rites and customs and in the absence of objection about the filing of Divorce OP under Hindu Marriage Act - Non- Production of Church Roll by Steward of Church - Presumption under sec.114 of Evidence Act - Husband proved his case that the wife converted to Christianity - is a valid Ground available under Hindu Marriage Act for Divorce and further more proved that she deserted thereafter for more than two years - Trial court order set aside - Appeal was allowed - Divorce Granted - 2015 A.P.(2014) MSKLAWREPORTS.

for divorce, under Section 13(1) (ia) (ib) and (ii) of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 (for short 'the Act').-after the birth of the fourth child, the respondent got herself converted into Christianity. -she had faith in Jesus Christ, and the allegation against her is not true.- trial Court dismissed the OP -1) Whether the appellant established that the respondent was cruel towards him? 2) Whether the respondent deserted the company of the appellant on her own accord since December, 1997?  3) Whether the respondent converted into Christianity about two years prior to
filing of the petition?-A valid Hindu marriage can take place only between a man and a woman professing that religion, as on the date of marriage.  The first sentence in Section 5 of
the Act made this aspect clear.  It reads:"A marriage may be solemnized between two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely, ......." -The equivocal statement made by her is that she had faith in Jesus Christ.  The burden of proof of conversion into Christianity naturally rests upon the
respondent. -R.W.3, a person who acted as  Steward in the Church at Armoor. -  "It is true that if any person adopts Baptism, we will enter the name of such person in a particular register.  The said register is called as 'Church roll'.The said register will be maintained in all the Churches.  It is true that the names of R.W.2 and his family members entered in the Church roll.  I did not produce any register to show that R.W.2 and his family members converted into Christianity in the year 1978." The failure on the part of R.W.3 to produce the register would naturally lead to an inference to be drawn, as provided for, under Section 114 of the Evidence Act.-From the above, it becomes clear that the respondent got herself converted into Christianity, after her marriage with the appellant.  The Act recognizes conversion of a spouse into another religion as a valid ground for the other to seek divorce. -It is not in dispute that the respondent left the company of the appellant, soon after the fourth child was born.  After that, a complaint was filed against the appellant, alleging the offences under Sections 498-A and 307 of IPC, at the instance of the respondent, though by R.W.2.-We, therefore, allow the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal and the order and decree passed by the trial Court are set aside. - 2015 A.P.(2014) MSKLAWREPORTS


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