HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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Soni, J. -
(1.) THE facts found in this case are that Mt. Chando was married to Shiaman when she was very small. When she was 8 and her husband was 9, the husband died. The property of her husband was mutated in her name. She was living with her husband's brother Chintu, who was the Plaintiff and is the present Appellant. When she was about 18 or 19 years old, she was seduced by this brother -in -law of hers and gave birth to a child. The boy is now 7 years old and Chintu brought a suit in the trial Court alleging that he was in possession of the whole of the property, but she had been entered as co -owner to the extent of half the property in the revenue records and as she has become unchaste she has lost her right in the property and that it be so declared. He succeeded before the trial Judge as well as before the Senior Subordinate Judge in appeal. When the matter came up before the High Court, Achhru Ram J. held that there was ample evidence to prove that Chintu was the author of this boy and was her seducer. The learned Judge went on to say:
I have carefully perused the entire evidence produced on the Plaintiff's behalf and except for the reference to the birth of an illegitimate son to the Defendant, I do not find a word in that evidence in proof of the alleged unchastity of the Defendant. There is no suggestion by any of the witnesses, except in so far as such suggestion may be deemed to be implicit in their evidence as to the birth of the child, that the Defendant was leading an immoral and adulterous life or had illicit connection with anyone. The evidence given by the Defendant herself seems to be perfectly straightforward and I see no reason at all not to believe it, particularly in the absence of any reubuttal worth the name. She says that up to five years ago when the Plaintiff married, she had been living with him in the same house ever since the death of bar husband. She -further says that the Plaintiff pressed her for sexual intercourse and that she eventually gave in. She further says that it was at the instance of the Plaintiff that since then she has been living a chaste life.
In the circumstances it is quite clear that it is the seducer now who wants to take advantage of his own wrong a grievous wrong which he has done to this young person and wants to deprive hereof her property the source of the mischief being he himself. Before he seduced her she had been living a chaste life. After her seduction by him she had been living a chaste life. Her conduct was not regarded as improper by anybody including the Plaintiff. He began to regard it as improper only when he got married. In these circumstances, we cannot hold that she is leading an unchaste life. In my opinion therefore , there is no force in this appeal. The Plaintiff cannot take advantage of his own wrong and in my opinion Achhru Ram J. was quit right when he said that:
The Plaintiff is clearly estopped from enforcing the forfeiture against the defendant and from maintain any action the result whereof will be to oust her from her husband's estate. By having persuaded her to allow himself to co -habit with her the Plaintiff must be deemed to have induced a belief in her mind that she would not any material injury by doing so and that her life estate in her husband's property would not any manner be adversely affected. He cannot now be allowed to turn round and to take advantage of his own improper conduct and to enforce against the Defendant, forfeiture.
(2.) IN my opinion, she cannot be considered to be unchaste. I would also agree with Mr. Achhru Ram that the declaratory relief which is discretionary in its nature, should not be given to the Plaintiff in. the circumstances of the present case. It would be monstrous to hold that the seducer should deprive the person he seduces of the property which she has The appeal is dismissed with costs throughout.
I agree and would like to add that the principle of public policy that no man is allowed to benefit by his own wrong (see Beresford v. Royal Insurance Co. Ltd., (1933) 2 ALL E.R. 602 :, (1938 A.C. 586) also applies in cases where a person has connived at, encouraged or promoted an act. In this case the Plaintiff has gone further. He is party to the adultery of the Defendant and, as has been held by my learned brother, he cannot take advantage of his own wrong and thereby deprive the Defendant of the rights which have vested in her by inheritance. Although the principle of Hindu law as to divesting of vested estates, which was laid down, in Moniram Kolita v. Keri Kolitani 5 Gal. 776 : (7 I.A. 115 P.C.), may not apply in the present custom case, but the circumstances which have been brought about by the Plaintiff himself, in my opinion, would estop him from now claiming the property duo to the very act which has been brought about by himself. I would, therefore, agree with my learned brother that the appeal should be dismissed with cost throughout.;
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